|March 16, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||NC|
|FG Percentage||.359 (23-64)||.517 (31-60)|
|3P FG Percentage||.250 (7-28)||.409 (9-22)|
|FT Percentage||.867 (13-15)||.722 (13-18)|
Pepper - 7
Manley - 10
Buckland - 4
- 3||Berry II
Pepper - 1
Manley - 1
CHARLOTTE – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team’s historic run came to an end on Friday afternoon as the 15-seeded Bisons fell to the 2-seed North Carolina 84-66 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Congratulations to Carolina," head coach Casey Alexander said. "Everybody knows it takes a magical performance from somebody like us to beat somebody like them. We didn't get that, and so we were fighting uphill all afternoon it felt like.
"I thought our guys really competed and continued to play all 40 minutes. We just couldn’t get enough balls to drop. We couldn’t create enough of our own momentum to really give us a chance. We tip our hat! We’ll go home and start over.”
The Spectrum Center, located in Charlotte less than 200 miles from the Tar Heels’ campus, was filled with Carolina blue, but Lipscomb came out strong in their first March Madness appearance, taking an early 21-15 lead.
Section 113 was rocking and filled with Purple and Gold as the Bisons were going shot-for-shot with North Carolina early on.
“It was incredible," junior forward Rob Marberry said about the Lipscomb crowd in attendance. "I was really proud just for the school. For the opportunity that it gave this school for the first time in the history of the school. It was awesome to see all of that come into play and all of the support we got, it was really cool.”
UNC went on a 10-1 in the waning moments of the first half, giving the Tar Heels a 43-34 leading heading into the halftime break.
North Carolina never looked back, outscoring Lipscomb 41-32 in the second half.
Sophomore Kenny Cooper paced the Bisons with 14 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
“It’s an honor just to be a part of this Lipscomb basketball team and what the program has become," Cooper said. "Being able to make our first tournament appearance and being a part of that just exceeds our expectations that we have.
"We plan on being back, that’s for sure. We’re going to work our tails off this upcoming offseason and get back. Hopefully this is just a start and we can build on to it.”
Marberry nearly earned a double-double with 14 points and seven rebounds to go along with two steals and one block.
The Bisons end the season with a 23-10 record, while North Carolina improves to 26-10.
Seniors Aaron Korn and George Brammeier played in their final games in the Purple and Gold. Korn had four and three rebounds, while Brammeier had two points, one board, and on steal.
- North Carolina had five scorers in double-figures: Kenny Williams (18), Theo Pinson (15), Joel Berry (14), Cameron Johnson (12), and Luke Maye (10).
- Lipscomb’s final point total was its lowest since a 98-66 loss to Purdue in December. It tied the second fewest points in a game this season for the Bisons.
- Lipscomb was held under 70 points for the first time since Jan. 13 when they scored 69 points in a loss at Jacksonville.
- Junior Garrison Mathews tied a season low with only eight points, but he added three rebounds, tied for the team high with four assists, and swiped a team-best three steals.
- Sophomore Michael Buckland notched seven points, tied for the team-high with four assists, and added one steal.
- UNC out-rebounded Lipscomb 47-29 and won the assist battle 19-14.
- Lipscomb shot 7-28 from downtown while UNC shot 9-22.
- Lipscomb swiped nine steals to the Tar Heels eight.
- The Bisons made 13 of 15 free throws, led by Cooper’s 3-4 mark. UNC shot 13-18 from the charity stripe.
- The Bisons fell to 0-11 all-time against ranked opponent, including 0-2 against North Carolina
- Rob Marberry scored double figures for the 25th time this season and Kenny Cooper netted double digits for the 18th time in 2017-18.