|February 16, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||KSU|
|FG Percentage||.473 (26-55)||.365 (23-63)|
|3P FG Percentage||.304 (7-23)||.333 (4-12)|
|FT Percentage||.750 (24-32)||.850 (17-20)|
MATHEWS - 1
LOCKLEY - 1
KENNESAW, Ga. – Despite a sluggish first half, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team got back on track Saturday with an 83-67 ASUN Conference road win over Kennesaw State in the KSU Convocation Center in Kennesaw, Georgia.
The victory improved the Bisons to 21-5 overall and kept them atop the league table at 12-1. The Owls dropped to 5-22 overall and 2-10 in the ASUN.
“It took longer than we wanted to respond the way we wanted,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “I felt like our practices this week and our readiness for the game was where we wanted it to be, but when we didn’t jump out on them (KSU) and play with great energy early, our response at that point wasn’t good enough.
“But in the second half, I thought all of that was better. We had better effort, better energy, and our togetherness was better. Anytime you do that, you give yourself a chance to win the game.”
Three different Bisons scored in double figures in a balanced offensive attack, led by Rob Marberry’s 17 points. The senior went 6-of-7 from the floor and helped spark Lipscomb’s second half surge.
Fellow senior Garrison Mathews struggled from the floor in the opening half going 0-for-7, but the ASUN’s leading scorer found his groove as the game went along. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds and hit a pair of long balls.
On his last make from deep, Mathews became the ASUN’s all-time leader with 317 career 3-pointers, passing Campbell’s Adam Fellers who played from 1998-2002.
“Breaking that record means he has had a great career, and everyone that follows our program knows that,” Alexander said. “But I was particularly pleased with the way he bounced back after a tough first half. He gave us a big lift and he looked more like the Garrison we are used to seeing out there.”
Michael Buckland finished with 10 points and two assists, but he really gave the Bisons a shot in the arm on defense with a career-high tying five thefts. Kenny Cooper, Eli Pepper and Ahsan Asadullah each finished with eight points.
Lipscomb shot 47 percent from the floor, including a 50-percent clip in the second half, and held the Owls to just 39 percent for the game.
The Bisons dominated the Kennesaw State in the paint, outscoring the Owls 38-18 in the paint and controlling the boards 40-37.
Pepper pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds to move him into 5th on the ASUN’s all-time rebounding list with 946. He passed both Centenary’s Nate Taylor (937) and USC Upstate’s Torrey Craig (944).
The opening 20 minutes turned into a back-and-forth affair as neither team was able to establish much of a foothold. Kennesaw State led by as many as five points and held the lead over the first-place Bisons for almost 11 minutes before Marberry’s bucket with 9:47 remaining gave Lipscomb the lead for good.
Andrew Fleming buried a deep 3-pointer at the three-minute mark to give the Bisons their largest lead of the first half at eight. KSU’s Danny Lewis nailed a jumper at the buzzer to send Lipscomb to the locker room with a 33-29 halftime edge.
The second half saw the visitors from Music City get back to their normal ways as it took only a couple minutes to stretch the lead to double figures after back-to-back treys from Mathews and Buckland.
After the Owls cut the deficit to seven, Mathews took over with a 7-0 run by himself to double the Bisons lead. A few minutes later Marberry converted on back-to-back trips down the floor to stretch the lead to 18 and seal the victory.
The win marked the sixth in a row for the Bisons in the series and the 16th in the last 18 meetings.
- Lipscomb earned its 10th road victory of the season, matching the program’s D-I single-season record. The Bisons also won 10 away from home in 2017-18.
- The Bisons have now won their last 11 ASUN road games and are 23-2 overall in their last 25 games against conference foes.
- Lipscomb drilled 7-of-23 attempts from long distance, while KSU hit just 4-of-12.
- The Bisons did what they do best on Saturday getting to the free throw line. Led by Mathew’s six makes, they finished 24-of-32 as a team.
- Marberry scored in double figures for the 20th time this season.
- Freshman Alex Jones added seven points and three assists off the bench.
- Pepper not only led the team in rebounds, but he also dished out five of the team’s 15 assists.
Lipscomb stays on the road for a showdown with FGCU in Fort Myers, Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday. It will be the Bisons first trip to Alico Arena since winning the ASUN Tournament last March.