|February 08, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||JU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.390 (23-59)||.483 (28-58)|
|3P FG Percentage||.278 (5-18)||.435 (10-23)|
|FT Percentage||.667 (8-12)||.727 (16-22)|
HELGELAND - 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It did not take long to see this meeting would go much differently than the last.
After playing one of its worst games of the season on the road against Jacksonville in early January, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team put together one of its best Thursday night in Allen Arena as the Bisons routed the Dolphins 82-59 in a big ASUN Conference matchup.
“It’s been a long time for sure since we played that way,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “I felt like our guys were engaged and helped each other and that it was important to them to get stops.
“The whole ball of wax was much better for us on the defensive end. You can look at the points scored, you can look at the percentages, and you can look at the rebounding. All of it was good defensively.”
Midway through the first half with the score even on the board, the Bisons (16-9, 6-4 ASUN) ramped up their defensive effort and held the Dolphins (12-15, 6-4 ASUN) scoreless for 7:29, paving the way for a 15-0 run for the home team.
Jacksonville knocked down four of its last five shot attempts to trim Lipscomb’s lead to 42-32 going into halftime. That would be as close as the Dolphins would get the rest of the night.
Lipscomb came roaring out of the locker room to the tune of a 21-2 run that built a 63-34 lead for the Bisons.
“To start the second half the way we did, to increase the margin and give us a comfortable lead, it was nice to see us respond the way we did,” Alexander said. “We had a good week of practice. All I emphasized in pregame was how hard can we play defense, how well can we do our jobs and how mistake free we can be. If we can count on that end of the floor, everything else will take care of itself.”
Junior guard Garrison Mathews led Lipscomb with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor. He hit three long balls, made all six of his free throw attempts and chipped in six rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.
Junior forward Eli Pepper had a big game down low with his second double-double of the season behind 11 points and 15 rebounds.
“We are supposed to be one of the best rebounding teams in the conference,” Pepper said. “If that’s my niche, I’ve got to take control.
“I’ve been told I might be a good defensive rebounder, but I am not a good box-outer, so I have a few things to work on. Once I see the ball go up, my job is to go up and get it.”
- With the win, Lipscomb is now tied with Jacksonville for second place in the ASUN standings with four games to play.
- The Bisons dominated on the boards, outrebounding JU 44-25. The +19 margin is their second highest total of the season.
- The Purple and Gold knocked down 28-of-58 field goals for a 48.3-percent clip, while JU dropped in 23-of-59 to shoot 39-percent.
- Lipscomb drained 10 treys, its most since knocking down 10 against Stetson on Jan. 20. It marks the ninth time this season the Bisons have hit double-digit three balls.
- Rob Marberry was the third Bison to hit double digits in the scoring column with 10 points.
- Mathews recorded his 17th game this season with 20+ points and the 35th of his career.
- The 15 rebounds by Pepper matched his season high, set on Dec. 9 at Tennessee.
- Matt Rose led the team with three assists, while Kenny Cooper paced the way with three steals.
Lipscomb closes its three-game home stand on Saturday with a 4 p.m. matchup with North Florida. The Ospreys come to the Music City after dropping an 89-81 contest at Kennesaw State on Thursday. They are one game behind Lipscomb in the standings, but have already taken down the Bisons once this season, 102-96.
“Obviously at this stage of the season, every game becomes critical because you want to build momentum,” Alexander said. “Every game impacts the standings.
“We have to guard them (UNF) a lot better. They’ve beaten us four in a row and we’ve scored 80-plus every time, so it’s not that end of the floor. We have to find a way to collectively get the job done.”