|February 06, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||UNF|
|FG Percentage||.493 (33-67)||.339 (20-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.480 (12-25)||.286 (8-28)|
|FT Percentage||.778 (14-18)||.875 (7-8)|
PEPPER - 8
BUCKLAND - 4
GANDIA-ROSA - 3
COFFEY II - 3
DAY - 2
PEPPER - 1
HORCHLER - 2
NASHVILLE – Lipscomb men’s basketball walked into North Florida’s arena and did everything it was supposed to do.
The Bisons dominated the glass. They controlled the paint. They shot the ball well and took any sense of confidence away from the Ospreys early. When the final horn blew, they had rolled to a 92-55 victory Wednesday night that kept them alone at the top of the ASUN Conference standings.
“Tonight was fun,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “The guys played really hard from start to finish. We made a lot of great plays on both ends of the floor. It was a great team win.”
The win was historic for the Bisons in a couple of ways.
The 37-point difference was the largest margin of victory over an ASUN team in program history. It extended Lipscomb’s win streak to 10 games, which is its longest in the NCAA era. It was also the fourth-straight win of at least 20 points for Alexander’s squad and the first time anyone on the Bisons roster had ever won at UNF.
“I don’t know if it was a statement win, but I hope it reminds us of how good we can be,” Alexander said. “Everybody contributed and it felt like we were ready from the beginning.”
The Bisons (19-4, 10-0) shot 49 percent and led by as many as 45 points to blow out the Ospreys (9-16, 3-7) for the second time in four weeks.
From the jump, Lipscomb was dialed in from long distance. The first five buckets of the game for the Bisons came from three balls by Garrison Mathews, Kenny Cooper and Michael Buckland. The team finished 12 of 25 from deep, giving them their fourth game in the last five with double digit threes.
Buckland drained all five of his 3-point attempts for a season-high 15 points. He also matched Cooper with a team-high four assists.
“Most of what Buck does goes unnoticed,” Alexander said. “He’s our best team defender. He guards the best player on the other team every night.
“On offense, he makes his contribution when the situation allows. Tonight however, he stepped up. He went 5-of-5 from three, and has shot the ball great in conference play. It adds an extra weapon for us.”
Mathews scored a game-high 22 points with four rebounds, four steals and three assists in 21 minutes of action. Like Buckland, he also knocked down five balls from beyond the arc.
Leading 19-14, the Bisons clamped down defensively and held the Ospreys scoreless for nearly six minutes while they put together an 11-0 run. After UNF hit a couple of threes, Lipscomb reeled off another 15-straight points, including an 8-for-8 performance at the charity stripe, to help take a 47-23 lead into the break.
Over the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Bisons held UNF to just 10 points and allowed them to build their largest lead of the night on a layup from Ahsan Asadullah.
The Bisons finished with a 48-27 rebounding advantage and a 34-22 edge in the paint.
UNF shot 34 percent from the floor and 29 percent from deep while being limited to its second-fewest points of the season. Wajid Aminu led the way for the home team with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. No other player scored more than eight points for the Ospreys.
- The win was the first since 2014 for the Bisons at UNF Arena.
- Lipscomb won its 18th straight game against conference opponents. It’s the second-longest streak in the nation behind Gonzaga’s 21.
- Mathews moved into fourth on the ASUN’s all-time scoring list with 2,167 career points. He passed Campbell’s Jonathan Rodriguez, who had 2,153.
- Mathews also inched closer to the ASUN’s all-time three-point record with his five makes. The senior out of Franklin, Tennessee has 308 career makes, and only trails Campbell’s Adam Fellers (1998-02) who holds the record with 316.
- Asadullah (12) and Andrew Fleming (10) joined Mathews and Buckland in double figures.
- Eli Pepper and Asadullah each reeled in a team-high eight rebounds, including five on the offense end from the latter.
- Cooper added five rebounds and four assists to his line, while Rob Marberry collected eight points and five boards.
- Pepper and Mathews each played their 120th career game as a Bison.
- The Bisons finished 14 of 18 from the free throw line.
The Bisons return to the Music City for a pair of important home matchups. They will first welcome Jacksonville to Allen Arena at 4 p.m. Saturday, before welcoming Liberty on Wednesday.
“We expect Jacksonville to come in and be ready to go,” Alexander said. “I don’t know what the margin will look like, or even if we will win the game, but I hope we show up and ready to play hard. That will give us the best chance to win.”