|December 12, 2018||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||LVILLE|
|FG Percentage||.354 (23-65)||.377 (23-61)|
|3P FG Percentage||.360 (9-25)||.348 (8-23)|
|FT Percentage||.722 (13-18)||.818 (18-22)|
- 20||Jordan Nwora
- 7||Malik Williams
- 5||Dwayne Sutton
Darius Perry - 3
- 4||Darius Perry
Jordan Nwora - 2
- 2||Malik Williams
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team went on the road to face the Louisville Cardinals on Wednesday night, and the Bisons came achingly close to pulling off the upset, falling 72-68 in a physical contest at the KFC Yum! Center.
Lipscomb (7-3) nearly knocked off their second Power Five school this season after a win over No. 18 TCU in November, but a the Bisons fell just short in its comeback bid.
Louisville (7-3) sewed the game up with defense and a number of opportune baskets in the final minutes.
“It wasn’t our best performance by any stretch,” Lipscomb men’s basketball head coach Casey Alexander. “Louisville had a lot to do with that obviously.
“To put ourselves into a position where we actually had a chance late, that shows a lot of grit and fight. I’m proud of our team for that.”
Senior Garrison Mathews bounced back from a recent swoon with 20 points on 5-11 shooting from the 3-point line and a 5-6 mark from the free throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds and snatched two steals.
The Lipscomb defense performed strong all night, holding the Cardinals to just 37% shooting from the field.
Louisville’s Jordan Nwora carried the Cardinals, scoring 22 points on 8-13 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds.
The two teams traded streaks in the first half, culminating in a Matt Rose 3-pointer to cut the Cardinal lead to 34-33 heading into the break.
“Early on I thought we missed some good looks,” Alexander said. “Then I thought we forced a lot of looks.
”In the second half, I thought we were a little bit more like we’re supposed to look on offense. Shots came more on-rhythm and guys made them. We haven’t been a good three-point shooting team, it’s important we take good ones.”
Junior Michael Buckland gave the Bisons their first lead of the game, 35-34, on the first play of the second half.
Following a 13-1 Louisville run early in the second stanza, Lipscomb responded with 14-2 run of its own, which featured a 7-0 run in one minute and twenty-eight seconds, to bring the game back into reach. Mathews jumpstarted the run with back-to-back buckets from long range.
After a bank shot from Louisville’s Christian Cunnigham put the Cardinals up 69-65 with 21 seconds to play, the Bisons coughed up the ball on the base line to give it right back to the home team. UofL knocked down three free throws in the final seconds to keep the game at two possessions.
“Great response on the road,” Alexander said. “When they extended the margin like that in the second half, it showed a lot of character there for our guys. Even down to the end, we have a great possession to force a really tough shot, they get an offensive rebound and we fouled.
“Then on our end we had a chance to take the lead, we turned it over. Just ball handling, wasn’t anything they did on that one. It was a bad catch. Sometimes those things happen and it just happened at a really bad time.”
- Louisville knocked down 23-61 shots (37.7%) from the floor, and the Bisons hit 23-65 (35.4%).
- The Bisons forced 17 turnovers, including eight steals, from the Cardinals and scored 15 points off of them. Lipscomb turned it over just 11 times.
- The Cardinals outrebounded the undersized Bisons 49-35 overall and 16-11 on the offensive end.
- Senior Rob Marberry paced the Bisons early on, finishing with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
- Junior Kenny Cooper added nine points, a team-high five assists, and a team-best four steals.
- Ahsan Asadullah came up with a couple big baskets, producing six points and four rebounds.
- Greg Jones had his best game of the season with a career-high tying five points and a career best six boards.
Lipscomb returns home for its final two games before Christmas next week. The Bisons host Covenant on Monday (Dec. 17) at 6:30 p.m. before welcoming Vermont on Friday (Dec. 21) at 7:15 p.m.