|February 09, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||JU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.469 (30-64)||.473 (26-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.364 (8-22)||.393 (11-28)|
|FT Percentage||.500 (9-18)||.742 (23-31)|
ASADULLAH - 1
MATHEWS - 1
NASHVILLE – Behind a monster effort from Eli Pepper, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team held off an upset-minded Jacksonville squad and extended its winning streak to 11 games with an 86-77 victory Saturday in Allen Arena.
The win improved the Bisons to 20-4 overall and 11-0 in league play. It marks the third-straight 20-win season for the first time in the program’s Division I history. It was also the 19th consecutive win for the Bisons against an ASUN opponent.
The senior forward led the team in nearly every category with a career high 27 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for his fourth double-double of the season. Pepper also nailed a career best 12 of 14 from the free throw line.
Junior point guard Kenny Cooper had another strong game for the home team with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He finished 6-of-12 from the field and matched his career high with four 3-pointers.
Senior Garrison Mathews struggled from the floor in the first half with five points, but turned things around after the break. He wrapped the game with a 16-point outing and grabbed four rebounds and three assists in the process. He sits fourth in ASUN history with 2,183 career points.
Also in double figures was Ahsan Asadullah (12) and Michael Buckland (10). Asadullah finished second on the team, pulling down five boards.
The Dolphins (11-15, 4-7 ASUN) played a physical game with the Bisons and made them earn every point.
In the first half of action Saturday, the teams traded leads 15 times and Lipscomb went into the locker room up 37-33. Entering the contest, the Bisons had averaged a 23-point lead at halftime over their previous four games.
With the Bisons up five following a layup from Asadullah at the 15:20 mark, JU went on a 15-6 run over the next seven minutes and found itself leading 22-19 after back-to-back baskets from JD Notae.
Down two with four minutes remaining in the opening stanza, Pepper converted an and-one and followed with a three to spark a 12-6 run to end the half.
Lipscomb never gave up the lead again.
A pair of free throws from Pepper put the Bisons up 10 with 15:46 remaining – their largest lead of the night. Following a mini 5-0 run from JU’s DeAnthony McCallum and Jace Hogan that trimmed the score to three, Mathews and Asadullah converted on three consecutive trips to stretch the lead back to 10.
With just over a minute remaining, Pepper and Mathews put the game away with seven straight points.
Jacksonville was led by Notae’s 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists. McCallum added 18 points and Tyreese Davis chipped in 17 with five boards, four steals and three assists.
- The last time the Bisons won 20 games in three straight seasons was in the NAIA era from 1998-2001.
- Before Lipscomb’s current run began, the program had just 20 wins in a season once from 2005-16.
- Lipscomb shot 47 percent from the field and drained 11 treys, while JU also shot 47 percent with eight long balls.
- The Bisons connected on 23 of 31 at the stripe. JU finished 9 of 18.
- Lipscomb won the rebounding battle 38-32 as each side reeled in eight offensive boards.
- Two of Pepper’s double-doubles on the season happened against the Dolphins. He recorded 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first meeting in Jacksonville on Jan. 5.
- Mathews drained a pair of triples, giving him 313 for his career. He will enter Tuesday three shy of becoming the ASUN’s all-time sharp shooter.
Lipscomb gets ready for another showdown with ASUN newcomer Liberty. The Bisons and Flames will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Arena. Liberty is one game behind the Bisons in the league standings.