|January 16, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||NJIT|
|FG Percentage||.500 (29-58)||.364 (20-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.300 (6-20)||.286 (6-21)|
|FT Percentage||.545 (6-11)||.750 (6-8)|
COOPER - 7
LEWIS - 1
WILLIS - 1
JONES - 1
GIBBS - 1
COOKS - 1
NEWARK, N.J. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team returns to league road action on Wednesday evening with a 6 p.m. contest against NJIT at the WEC in Newark, New Jersey.
Lipscomb heads to the Garden State with a 5-2 lead in the all-time series against NJIT, including a 3-0 mark against the Highlanders in Newark. The game will air on ESPN+ and live stats will be available HERE.
After being tabbed to finish sixth in the ASUN preseason poll, the Highlanders enter the game 13-4 overall and 1-1 in league play. They beat Kennesaw State 72-52 in the opener before falling 61-55 at North Alabama last weekend.
The Highlanders are 6-1 at home this season. The only loss came against Cornell on Nov. 17.
NJIT is led offensively by Zach Cooks’ 19.0 PPG which rank second in the ASUN. He has tallied at least 19 points in 10 of the last 13 games. He leads the ASUN and ranks 11th nationally in steals (43), while also standing third in the ASUN in 3-point field goals made (42).
Abdul Lewis has grabbed eight or more rebounds in three straight outings and ranks second in the ASUN averaging 8.8 RPG. His 6.69 defensive boards per game is the 38th best total in Division I. He is the team’s third-leading scorer at 11.0 PPG.
Diandre Wilson is NJIT’s second leading scorer at 11.6 PPG.
The Highlanders boast the top field goal percentage defense in the conference at 40.2 percent and the top 3-point field goal defense at 30.3. Opponents are scoring only 66.7 points per game against them.
Offensively they are averaging 71.7 points and are shooting 44.4 percent from the floor, including a 33.3 percent mark from long range.
Coming off the win over Stetson on Saturday, the Bisons climbed to 48th in the latest releasing of the NCAA NET Rankings. They only trail Liberty (47th) in the ASUN. The next closest team is NJIT at 161.
According to the NET Rankings, the Bisons are the second-best team in the state of Tennessee, only trailing the University of Tennessee who is third.
Lipscomb is still receiving a lot of love from the mid-major polls across the country. SB Nation has the Bisons ranked 10th in the Mid-Major Madness Top 25 and CollegeInsider.com has them ranked 11th.
KPI Sports has the Bisons rated 55th in its Division I ratings. They have Lipscomb's 73-64 win over No. 19 TCU on the road as the third-best win of the year in its outcome values ranking.
KenPom.com also places Lipscomb 55th in its Pomeroy Ratings, however, its adjusted tempo is tied for 11th in the nation - averaging 74.7 possessions per 40 minutes played.
Dating back to last season since the Jan. 18 loss to Florida Gulf Coast, Lipscomb has compiled a 24-6 record. NJIT handed the Bisons one of those losses on Feb. 8 in Nashville. They are 10-4 on the road in that span.
- Last season, the Bisons and Highlanders split a pair of meetings. On Jan. 27 in Newark, the Bisons scored 51 second-half points to erase a 14-point halftime deficit. They took an 86-79 victory in overtime.
In the meeting at Allen Arena, Lipscomb surrendered a 10-point lead at the final media timeout to fall 81-77. It was the team’s only loss in a 14-game stretch from Jan. 20 to March 4.
With a scoring average of 85.5 PPG, Lipscomb leads all ASUN teams on the offensive side this season and ranks 12th nationally. It’s +15.3 scoring margin is 16th in Division I and 17.4 assists per game rank 18th.
After his 20-point performance on Saturday against the Hatters that saw him break the school’s NCAA era record for career three-pointers and total points, senior Garrison Mathews enters the contest third overall in the ASUN in scoring at 18.5 PPG and second in league play at 22.5. He has back-to-back 20-plus point games and has reached the mark in five of the last six overall.
Senior Rob Marberry has scored in double figures in 31 straight games dating back to last season after a team-high 23-point effort against Stetson on Saturday. He is fourth overall in the ASUN in scoring at 16.1 PPG and third in league play at 16.0. His 60.8 field goal percentage is tops in the ASUN and 26th in the country.
Eli Pepper leads the team in rebounding at 7.1 per game, but against ASUN foes that number jumps to 10.7 RPG, which leads all conference players.
Pepper is 11th in the ASUN record books for career boards and is on pace to become the 10th in league history to reach 900 for their career.
Lipscomb earned its first 3-0 start to league play since the 2014-15 season when the Bisons opened with a 4-0 record.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bisons are 20thin the country forcing 17.25 turnovers per game. Kenny Cooper leads the team and stands 36th in D-I with 35 total steals on the year. He only trails NJIT’s Zach Cooks for the most in the ASUN.
The Bisons posted back-to-back 20-win seasons over the past two years for the first time in its NCAA Division I history. Lipscomb’s 23 wins last year registered as a program D-I best. Since the 2016-17 season, the Bisons own a combined 53-27 mark.
Lipscomb was picked as the preseason favorite in the 2018-19 ASUN Conference race by a vote of the league’s skippers and the league’s media members.
- Mathews and Rob Marberry were both selections to the preseason All-ASUN team.
Lipscomb returns home for a pair of games next week. The Bisons will host Kennesaw State on Monday at 6:30 p.m. before welcoming reigning ASUN regular season champion Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.