NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team opens ASUN home action on Thursday night hosting league co-leader FGCU at Allen Arena at 6:30 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lipscomb owns an 11-8 advantage in the series all-time against the Eagles. The two teams split last season with each team winning on the road in a pair of contests that were separated by five points or less.
The game will air on ESPN3 with Jonathan and Justin Seamon calling the action from Don Meyer Court. To purchase tickets visit http://www.LipscombTickets.com or call 615-966-HERD (4373).
- Junior guard Garrison Mathews enters Thursday night’s game as the leading scorer in the ASUN averaging 23.3 points per game. Mathews opened league action on Jan. 13 with a 43-point, 13-rebound effort against Kennesaw State that broke his own NCAA era record for points in a game and then posted a 32-point effort last Thursday night at North Florida. The 43-point effort ranks tied for the second most in a game this season. Mathews ranks 8th nationally in scoring and fourth among junior guards.
- Mathews picked up a trio of weekly awards for his efforts against Kennesaw and Fisk to start the month. He was named the Lou Henson Award National Midmajor Player of the Week, the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Week and the ASUN Player of the Week. The league award was the fourth this season for the Franklin, Tennessee native and fifth of his career tying former Lipscomb great Adnan Hodzic for the most in school history.
- He heads into Thursday night’s contest having scored 20-plus points over the past 10 games going back to the home game against Belmont on Dec. 4. Over that stretch, Mathews has averaged 26.9 ppg and 6.1 rpg.
- The Bisons opened ASUN play with three consecutive road games at Kennesaw State, North Florida and Jacksonville. Lipscomb will have played 12-of-16 contests away from Allen Arena when the team returns to the Music City on Thursday night.
- The 11-6 start to the season for the Bisons was the best in the NCAA era for the team topping the previous best of 8-4 set in 2006-07. The mark is the best since 1999-00 when Lipscomb opened the season 16-0 en route to a 34-4 record and an appearance in the NAIA. The team’s 5-2 record in December was also an NCAA era best for the Purple and Gold.
- Eli Pepper grabbed his 500th career rebound earlier in the season at Alabama. He is only the fourth player (Adnan Hodzic, Brandon Brown, Josh Slater, Malcolm Smith) in school history to have reached the plateau in the NCAA era. Pepper recently surpassed Brown and trails only Hodzic on the list
- Lipscomb was predicted to post a second-place finish in the 2017-18 ASUN Conference race by a vote of the league’s skippers and the league’s media members.
- Mathews and Rob Marberry were both unanimous selections to the preseason All-ASUN team. The duo was also named All-ASUN by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
- Mathews was also named to the 2017-18 Lou Henson Award Watch List becoming the second Lipscomb player to receive the honor. The award is handed out annually to the nation’s top mid-major player. The Franklin native was also named an honorable mention mid-major All-American by NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk.