|December 04, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||BEL|
|FG Percentage||.412 (28-68)||.441 (30-68)|
|3P FG Percentage||.269 (7-26)||.400 (12-30)|
|FT Percentage||.786 (11-14)||.667 (4-6)|
MARBERRY - 8
MURPHY - 7
NASHVILLE – A chaotic final minute cost the Lipscomb men’s basketball team on Tuesday night at the Curb Event Center as the Bisons fell 76-74 to Belmont in a heavyweight Battle of the Boulevard.
Like the first matchup in November at Allen Arena, the Bisons (6-2) and the Bruins (7-1) went to the final moments in a back-and-forth affair.
Down four with less than two minutes on the clock, post man Rob Marberry scored six straight points for the Bisons to knot the game at 74 with less than 30 seconds to play.
Senior Nate Moran forced a steal at midcourt with 23 seconds remaining to give Lipscomb the ball and a chance to win the game on a final shot. However, on the ensuing throw-in, Moran took the inbounds and immediately got double-teamed at midcourt, causing him to cough the ball back up to the Bruins.
Belmont freshman Caleb Hollander nailed a running floater with 4.9 seconds left in the game to give the home team the lead.
Following a timeout from each bench, Moran rimmed out a game-winning three from the corner at the buzzer, sending the Bisons home with their first loss on the road since Jan. 27.
“I chalk this one up as one more good one,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “I am really disappointed for our kids that we are on the losing end, but I’ve got no problems with effort, no problems with fight, and no problems with the way that we competed.
“They (Belmont) are a really good team and I think we are a really good team. Tonight came down to one shot by a really good shooter and it didn’t go in.”
The win gave the Bruins a sweep of the season series by a grand total of six points.
The Bisons went on an 11-1 run in just over two minutes by going a perfect 5-5 from the field to take a 61-60 lead with 7:30 remaining in the second half. From there on, the battle partners traded blows until the buzzer.
Marberry was integral in the Lipscomb comeback as he scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, hitting 9 of 11 shots in the final frame.
“We challenged him early after halftime because I didn’t think he was as poised and comfortable as he needed to be in the first half,” Alexander said. “We ran something for him on the first possession, but it actually took a couple to get him rolling.
“He’s a good player. We just needed more from his and he delivered in a massive way in the second half.”
For the contest, the big man shot 10-17 from the field and 6-9 from the free throw line and added eight rebounds, four assists, and two blocks - all team-high marks.
Despite their worst shooting performance of the season at 41.2%, a strong defensive effort from the Bisons allowed Lipscomb to control the tempo for much of the game and stifle one of the country’s most elite offenses that poured in 95.0 points per game entering Tuesday.
“They are really talented on offense,” Alexander said. “I think they were fourth in the nation in scoring and maybe second in assists before their loss at Green Bay last weekend. It’s what they’ve always been.
“They are hard to guard, but their two lowest point totals on the season are against Lipscomb and against Lipscomb.”
Moran and junior Kenny Cooper each chipped in 10 points, while junior Michael Buckland added nine points, seven rebounds, and a team-best three steals.
The Bisons leading scorer Garrison Mathews had just five points, all in the first half. The senior did pull down eight rebounds to match Marberry for the team high.
“Garrison Mathews is a heck of a player,” Alexander said. “He’s delivered for this team time after time after time. So I give Belmont a lot of credit for guarding him. He took what came to him and didn’t try to do too much, I give him a lot of credit for that.”
- The loss was the first on the road for Lipscomb since Jan. 27 at Jacksonville and it moves them to 14-3 in its their 17 games.
- The Bisons dominated Belmont the paint 40-32 and held a 14-5 advantage in second-chance points.
- Lipscomb outrebounded the Bruins 44-36 and outscored them 24-16 off the bench.
- Marberry’s eight rebounds were a season high for the Franklin Road Academy product. It was also his 15th career game of at least 20 points.
- Buckland picked up at least three steals in a game for the third time in his career. He now has 50 thefts in his career.
- Lipscomb’s lowest field goal percentages of the season came against the Bruins. The Bisons shot 44.4% in the first meeting and 41.2% Tuesday.
- The five points from Mathews was his lowest scoring output in 82 games. He scored three against NJIT on Feb. 1, 2016 in his freshman season. The six field goal attempts were his fewest in 56 games when he went 1-6 against Stetson on Jan. 12, 2017.
- The game was even throughout. Belmont held the lead for 18:39, while Lipscomb controlled for 18:04.
- Belmont’s biggest lead of the night was nine points with 9:57 to play, and Lipscomb led by as many as 11 with just over four minutes in the first half.
Lipscomb is back in action Sunday at 1:30 p.m. when the Bisons finally return home after 22 days on the road to host Navy at Allen Arena.
The last home contest was Nov. 15 versus Belmont.