|March 04, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
No. 2 Lipscomb
No. 1 FGCU
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.653 (32-49)||.408 (29-71)|
|3P FG Percentage||.462 (12-26)||.400 (16-40)|
|FT Percentage||.681 (32-47)||.786 (22-28)|
TERRELL - 4
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team has the opportunity to add a stellar page to the history of Bisons’ athletics.
The No. 2-seeded Bisons (22-9) face top-seeded and league champion Florida Gulf Coast (23-10) at Alico Arena Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. on ESPN with winner going to the NCAA Tournament. It would be the first trip to the “Big Dance” for the Bisons. The Eagles have made three trips, including the last two seasons.
Commentators Anish Shroff and Cory Alexander will have the call on ESPN.
This is the first time in 12 years the Lipscomb men’s basketball team has advanced to the ASUN Championship Final. The past three seasons for the Bisons had ended in the semifinals. They are coming off a 77-62 win over Jacksonville, the No. 3 seed in the semis. They opened the ASUN Tournament with an 89-73 victory against No. 7-seeded Stetson.
The Bisons have never played FGCU in an ASUN Tournament game. In fact, Lipscomb and NJIT are the only conference teams the Eagles have not faced in previous ASUN Tournaments.
The only previous time the Bisons have played in the ASUN Tournament title game was in 2006 when they lost to Belmont 74-69 in overtime. Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander was an assistant coach for Belmont at the time. Sunday will be exactly 12 years to the day.
Lipscomb and FGCU split their regular season games this season with each one winning on the road. At Allen Arena, FGCU trailed by 18 points in the second half, but came back to win 88-83 setting a school record for a comeback. In their last meeting the Bisons held on for a 90-87 win at Alico. It is the second win in a row for the Bisons on FGCU’s homecourt dating back to 65-60 win last season.
The Bisons enter the championship game having won their last seven games, tied for the 10th longest in the NCAA and the longest for the Bisons since winning nine in a row during the 2008-09 season.
Lipscomb is the only active team with a winning all-time record, 12-9, against FGCU.
Lipscomb junior Garrison Mathews, a unanimous ASUN All-Conference First Team selection, leads the league with 21.7 points per game. He is average 26 points in the ASUN Tournament with 23 against Jacksonville and 29 in the Stetson game.
Matt Rose is averaging 13 points per game in the tournament and Rob Marberry, also an ASUN All-Conference First Team pick, is averaging 11 in the two games.
- FGCU advanced to the final game with wins over USC Upstate, the No. 8 seed and North Florida, the No. 5 seed.
- The Eagles are led by Brandon Goodwin, the ASUN Player of the Year. Goodwin, the team leader in scoring, rebounds and assists, is averaging 13.5 points and five assists per game in tournament play.
- In the games against Upstate and North Florida Zach Johnson has led the way with 21.5 points per game and Christian Terrell is averaging 16.
- Goodwin has been a tough foe for the Bisons. He led the Eagles in scoring in both regular season games, averaging 25 points, seven assists and four steals per game.
- This will be the 16th meeting between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the ASUN Championship game. The No. 1 seed leads with an 8-7 record. FGCU is 7-1 in tournament play as the No. 1 seed and 16-3 overall in the ASUN Championship Tournament. This is the third time FGCU has played in the title game as the No. 1 seed.
- The Eagles will attempt to tie Belmont as the only other team to win three consecutive ASUN title games.
- A watch party is planned for those who want to watch the game on campus in Allen Arena. The doors will open at 1 p.m. Seven screens will be set up in the Hall of Fame room along with T-shirts for three-pointers and snacks.
- Since losing to FGCU in January, Lipscomb has won 11 of its last 12 games. The lone blemish is an 81-77 loss to NJIT.
- As a team the Bisons are 35th nationally with 81.7 points per game, 20th in rebounds (1,213) and 24th in rebounds per game (39.13).
- Mathews has scored 20 points or more in 20 games this season as a junior – the most in the ASUN.
- Mathews and Goodwin were the only players to receive unanimous approval as members of the ASUN All-Conference First Team.
- Kenny Cooper is 21st in the nation in steals per game in Division I with 2.14.
- Mathews is 15th nationally in points per game. He is sixth in free throw attempts (239) and fifth in free throws made (192).
- The Bisons are sixth in the nation in free throw attempts (764) and ninth in free throws made (548).
- Lipscomb has averaged 85.9 points in ASUN games, tops in the conference.