|February 02, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||UNA||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.492 (31-63)||.625 (35-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.294 (5-17)||.440 (11-25)|
|FT Percentage||.684 (13-19)||.700 (21-30)|
BLACKMON - 3
BLACKMON - 1
NASHVILLE- Behind 14 points from Kenny Cooper and a 28-point contribution from the bench in the first half, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team jumped on the North Alabama Lions early and the Bisons rolled to a 102-80 win in Allen Arena, extending their win streak to nine games.
“I give Kenny a lot of credit for getting us off to such a great start,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “And it wasn’t just because he scored it, but I felt his mentality is what we need from him. He was playing with a lot of speed.
“I told him at halftime that we are a lot better team when that’s his mentality.”
It matches the longest win streak for the Bisons since also winning nine in 2008-09.
The 106 points scored against the Lions (8-16, 5-4 ASUN) marked the most against a conference opponent for the Bisons (18-4, 9-0 ASUN) inside Allen Arena in the program’s NCAA era.
Lipscomb had a double-digit lead for nearly 36 minutes in the game as it took advantage from 3-point range and at the free-throw line to help push the lead to as many as 37 midway through the second half. The Bisons hit 11-of-25 from deep and 21-of-30 from the stripe.
Cooper finished with game with 16 points and six assists in 17 minutes of action. It was the most points he has scored since Nov. 20, and marked the fourth time he’s recorded at least six helpers in ASUN play.
The Bisons totaled 23 assists, marking the seventh time this season they have recorded at least 20. They entered the contest ninth in the nation averaging 17.6 helpers per game.
Andrew Fleming (15), Ahsan Asadullah (13) and Nate Moran (11) teamed up for 39 points off the bench, leading the team to its third-most points from non-starters in a game this season.
“It’s the benefit of having a lot of experience and having guys that have been around,” Alexander said. “Another benefit to having a good team is the bench doesn’t get the minutes they deserve. Those guys can really play, so it was great to see them capitalize when their names were called.”
Fleming went 5-of-6 from the floor and swished three treys en route to a career high.
Asaduallh had a team-high three blocks and five rebounds, and finshed 6-of-7 from the field. Moran was a perfect 6-for-6 at the stripe in 13 minutes.
“This was a big time win and everyone is playing really well. I am thankful to be a part of this group,” Fleming said. “Coach wants us to be ready when our number is called, that’s a motto of our team.
“I’ve been working hard and am blessed to be in this situation at Lipscomb. I want to take full advantage of all the playing time I can get and help the team win.”
The Bisons torched the Lions from beginning to end, firing at a 63 percent clip. It was the 2nd-best percentage of the season (64% vs. Navy).
Less than five minutes into the action, the Bisons built a double-digit lead at 17-6 behind eight points from Cooper. Garrison Mathews knocked down three from long range in the first half, while Cooper and Fleming added a pair each to extend Lipscomb’s advantage to 44-25.
In the final two minutes of the first half, Moran and Eli Pepper combined to hit 6-of-6 at the line to lead the Bisons into the locker room up 64-36. The Bisons shot 70 percent in the half and hit 22-of-33 from the field.
The Bisons starters took a seat for much of the second half as the bench mob kept the Lions at bay.
Mathews led the way for the Bisons with 19 points and three rebounds. He moved into fifth all-time on the ASUN’s scoring list, passing USC Upstate’s Torrey Craig. His 2,145 career points are nine points shy of fourth place.
Behind a career-high three blocks, Asadullah paced a defense that racked up nine swatted shots. It was the most for the Bisons since recording 10 against Arkansas Tech on December 3, 2007.
With the win on Saturday, Lipscomb became the first team to clinch its spot in the 2019 ASUN Men's Basketball Championship next month.
- Lipscomb has won 17 straight games against ASUN opponents. It is the second-longest streak in the country behind Gonzaga’s 21. Only two of the 17 games have been decided by three points or less.
- The win moves the Bisons to 10-1 in Allen Arena and it marks the third time this season they have scored 100 points (Navy 107, Covenant 119).
- The last time the purple and gold scored 60 points in a half was last year's ASUN Championship Final at FGCU.
- Matt Rose scored five points, but he added a career-high four assists. Pepper finished one off his career-high in helpers with five.
- Pepper grabbed a team-high six rebounds and helped the Bisons outrebound the Lions 32-25.
- Lipscomb put six players in double figures for just the second time this season.
- UNA shot 49 percent overall and was led by Kendall Stafford’s 18 points.
Lipscomb returns to the Sunshine State where the Bisons will take on North Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
“One game at a time,” Alexander said. “We are excited about going to UNF, a place where traditionally we don’t play very well.”