|November 20, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||TCU|
|FG Percentage||.456 (26-57)||.440 (22-50)|
|3P FG Percentage||.190 (4-21)||.286 (6-21)|
|FT Percentage||.708 (17-24)||.560 (14-25)|
MATHEWS - 5
ROBINSON - 6
NEMBHARD - 2
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team closed its Thanksgiving tour of Texas with one of the biggest wins in school history. The Bisons went into Schallmaier Arena Tuesday night and knocked off #18 TCU, 73-64, to give the program its first-ever win over a ranked opponent in the Division I era.
The Bisons and head coach Casey Alexander were well aware of the moment.
“I am extremely proud of this team,” Alexander said. “We talked about it before the game and then again at halftime what this could do for Lipscomb. It’s a feather in our cap right now for sure.”
Lipscomb had been 0-13 against top 25 teams since 2006, with all of those losses coming by double digits.
Senior Garrison Mathews led the charge for Lipscomb with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting and five rebounds. It was his third outing this season of at least 20 points.
The Franklin guard was equally as impressive on the defensive end of the court, limiting TCU starting guard Desmond Bane to a season-low four points and a 25% shooting clip. Bane entered the night pouring in 19.7 points per game and was coming off back-to-back 20-point games.
“Gary had a great overall game,” Alexander said. “It’s no secret that he will go play anyone, anywhere, anytime. It’s his best attribute.”
Point guard Kenny Cooper posted another stat-stuffer with 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. He knocked down 8-of-12 shots from the floor for a 67% clip.
With Lipscomb trailing 30-29 at the start of the second half, Cooper stepped in front of a lazy TCU pass on the perimeter and took it the distance for an easy lay-in to put the Bisons on top for good.
“Kenny’s play to start the second half, as great a play as it was, it was better for us mentally and emotionally,” Alexander said.
A stingy defensive performance all-around helped disguise the early shooting woes for Lipscomb in the first half. The team was just 2-of-14 from long distance and shot 35.7% in the opening half.
The Bisons forced the Horned Frogs into 16 turnovers, including five steals and two blocks.
“I wish I had an answer (for the way they started the game),” Alexander said. “I was disappointed in the way we started.
“The middle 30 minutes of the game was tremendous. They (TCU) made a nice adjustment down the stretch, but our guys were locked in and they executed scouting report scenarios well. I was proud of the fight.”
Like other games this season, the Bisons turned it up a notch in the second half. Over the first 9:15 out of the locker room, Lipscomb made a 23-10 run to grab its largest lead of the night at 52-40. Six different players scored in the run, led by Cooper’s eight.
When the Horned Frogs mounted a 7-0 run to trim the Bisons lead to one, Alexander turned to his big man Rob Marberry. The senior lefty deposited back-to-back soft floaters from the lane in the final three minutes to keep TCU chasing.
“Rob was huge down the stretch,” Alexander said. “When they made that run on us and we had to score, we went to him two or three times and he executed.”
Marberry’s night 13-point night was highlighted by a pair of free throws with 57 seconds remaining in the first half. On the first make he became the latest Bison to join the 1,000 career point club – the 49th player in school history. It came just three days after fellow senior Nate Moran also cracked the milestone while at the line against SMU.
Marberry also finished with three rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in 32 minutes.
The Horned Frogs suffered their first loss in the month of November since Nov. 24, 2015 when it dropped a 66-60 decision to Rhode Island. It was 18-straight wins in the month – the second-best streak in the nation behind only Virginia at 21.
- Lipscomb shot 46% from the floor (26-of-57) and 19% from long distance (4-of-21).
- TCU shot 44% overall (22-of-50) and 29% from behind the arc (6-of-21).
- The Bisons continue to get to the line at a high rate. They drained 17 of their 21 attempts.
- Mathews drained 7-of-8 free throws. He is shooting 91.4% at the line for the season (32-35).
- The Horned Frogs won the rebounding battle 37-30 and outscored Lipscomb’s bench 28-11.
- The Bisons controlled the paint, 42-26.
- TCU’s last lead came at 30-29 in the opening seconds of the last stanza.
- Andrew Fleming poured in seven points and two rebounds for the Bisons. He was 2-of-3 from the floor and the free throw line.
- Eli Pepper matched Mathews with a team high five rebounds.
- Alex Robinson led TCU with a 17-point, 10-rebound and 6-assist performance.
Lipscomb continues its five-game road trip on Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. contest at Morehead State. The game will be televised on ESPN+.