|February 17, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.569 (33-58)||.484 (30-62)|
|3P FG Percentage||.381 (8-21)||.250 (6-24)|
|FT Percentage||.762 (16-21)||.778 (21-27)|
FORT MYERS, Florida – Surviving a furious comeback attempt, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team hung on for a 90-87 win over ASUN Conference champion FGCU on Saturday night at Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Florida.
“It’s great to get the win,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “Everyone in our locker room would have taken the win before the ball was tipped, so I don’t want to minimize how great it is to beat a good team like FGCU on the road, no matter how ugly it was down the stretch.”
With the win, Lipscomb secured the No. 2 seed in the ASUN Championship that is set to begin on Monday, February 26. The Bisons (19-9, 9-4 ASUN) looked to have the game in hand against the Eagles (20-10, 11-2 ASUN) with a 75-60 lead with 4:25 to play but the Purple and Gold wilted to the pressure of FGCU’s full-court press. Eight Lipscomb turnovers over the final 4:18 would see the lead shrink to just one at 88-87 before a pair of Kenny Cooper free throws sealed the victory with 11 seconds remaining.
The Bisons were led by junior guard Garrison Mathews, who scored 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field including three triples to go along with a 6-for-6 effort at the line.
“I loved Gary’s composure tonight,” Alexander said. “He hasn’t been scoring the ball as much lately and it’s bothered him a little bit too much in my opinion, but he was really efficient all the way around.”
His output moved him past Josh Slater on the NCAA era scoring chart for the Bisons to fourth place and just three points back of Eddie Ard for third.
He was joined in double figures by Cooper, who scored a career best 19 points hitting 6-of-9 from the field and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe, and junior center Rob Marberry, who added 16 points.
FGCU’s Brandon Goodwin led all scorers with a 28-point night as he dropped 20 points in the second half in the failed comeback attempt on Senior Night.
Check back later tonight for a full recap including postgame reaction from Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander.
- As the No. 2 seed, the Bisons will host No. 7 seed Stetson at Allen Arena in the opening round of the ASUN Championship.
- The win was the second-straight road win at FGCU for Lipscomb.
- Lipscomb held a decided 34-27 edge on the boards including a 10-9 advantage in offensive rebounds that led to a 18-14 lead in second-chance points.
- Lipscomb was able to overcome 24 turnovers in the win while forcing 15 miscues by the Eagles.
- The Bisons held a 14-11 edge in assists.
- The Purple and Gold also owned a 57-48 percent advantage in field goal shooting and a 38-25 percent edge from beyond the arc.
- The bench play continues to be a strenght for the Bisons, outscoring FGCU 26-7 in the win.
“Our bench continues to give us a lift,” Alexander said. “I am proud at how our whole team is coming together. There is still plenty to work on, but it’s always better to win games than lose them this time of the year.”
The Bisons return home for Senior Night on Thursday hosting Kennesaw State at 6:30 p.m. in the regular season finale. The game will air live on ESPN3. To purchase tickets visit http://www.LipscombTickets.com or call 615-966-HERD (4373).
“We are really excited to get home and play Kennesaw State, who has played great the last three weeks," Alexander said. "It will be a tough matchup, but it’s senior night for some guys who have meant a ton to this program. I beg for people to come out and support out team with so much to play for over the next 10 days.”