|March 27, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||ST|
|FG Percentage||.500 (34-68)||.528 (38-72)|
|3P FG Percentage||.500 (14-28)||.474 (9-19)|
|FT Percentage||.706 (12-17)||.615 (8-13)|
DORN - 2
DANIELS - 2
FUNDERBURK - 2
NASHVILLE – Only one victory stands between Lipscomb and a trip to New York City for the NIT semifinals. On Wednesday, the Bisons aim for that win when they travel to North Carolina State.
The quarterfinal round tips at Reynolds Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT, with the game televised on ESPNU. Kevin Fitzgerald and John Thompson III will handle the broadcast.
It will be only the second-ever meeting between the two programs. NC State won the previous matchup 78-58 on Dec. 20, 2008 in Raleigh. Adnan Hodzic led the Bisons with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Lipscomb enters the meeting 27-7 overall. The Bisons 14-2 ASUN record earned them a share of the conference regular season title. As the top seed in the ASUN Tournament, Lipscomb secured an automatic bid to the NIT.
In the first round the Bisons got past No. 4 Davidson on the road 89-81 before taking down top overall seed UNCG 86-69 Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
It marks the furthest an ASUN Conference team has advanced in the NIT since 1987 when Arkansas Little Rock reached the semifinals where it lost to La Salle.
NC State earned a No. 2 seed in the NIT after not receiving an at-large big to the NCAA Tournament. In fact, the Wolfpack’s NET ranking of 33rd was the highest of any team not to make the Big Dance.
The Wolfpack are 24-11 overall after finishing 9-9 in the loaded ACC. They defeated No. 7 Hofstra 84-78 in the first round, and then snuck by No. 6 Harvard 78-77 on Sunday.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
- NC State is 17-4 in home games this season.
- The Wolfpack are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. They are 9th on the offensive glass, averaging 13.5 per contest. Their 1,346 total rebounds are 23rd nationally and their 38.5 boards per game rank 36th.
- The Wolfpack bowed out of the ACC Tournament in the second round with a 76-56 loss to Virginia. They beat Clemson, 59-58, in the first round.
- Senior Torin Dorn leads NC State in scoring at 13.4 PPG and rebounding at 7.2 RPG. His 34 steals are second most on the team.
- Markell Johnson (12.4) and CJ Bryce (11.6) joins Dorn in double-figure scoring.
- Johnson has totaled 134 assists on the year and his 4.2 APG ranks fifth in the ACC. He ranks second on the squad with 64 makes from deep.
- Bryce paces the team in steals (39), and ranks second in RPG (4.6) and free throw percentage (.756).
- The Wolfpack’s defense has been stellar when the ball is beyond the arc. They are 19th nationally allowing opponents to shoot just 30.1 percent from 3-point land – a strength of the Bisons.
- They lead the ACC and rank top-25 in the country in both turnovers forced (15.7) and turnover margin (+3.2).
- Averaging 79.7 PPG as a team, NC State is 34th in DI in scoring offense.
- In its second NIT appearance, the Bisons are now 2-1 in the event. Their previous bid came in 2006 where Lipscomb fell at UTEP 85-66.
- Lipscomb is 0-2 against teams from the ACC this season. It fell 72-68 at Louisville on Dec. 12 and then 84-67 at Clemson on Dec. 30.
- The 27 victories are the most in a single season in the program’s NCAA era. The previous record was 23 last season.
- The 13 road wins are also a D-I era record. The Bisons are one of only 22 teams in the nation with double-digit victories away from home. A win on Wednesday would give them more road dubs than anyone in the country as they are currently tied with Stony Brook and UC Irvine, whose seasons have ended.
- Prior to the postseason, Lipscomb had played seven games against 2019 NCAA Tournament teams this season, posting a 2-5 record, and two against 2019 NIT squads, posting a 1-1 record.
- The Bisons 5-seed is the highest seed for an ASUN squad in the NIT since the tournament adopted the seeding format in 2007.
- Senior Garrison Mathews was named to the USBWA All-District IV team last week, the first honor in program history.
- Mathews leads the ASUN in scoring at 19.9 PPG. He was one of three players nationally to enter the postseason averaging at least 20 points for the third consecutive season along with Campbell’s Chris Clemons and South Dakota State’s Mike Daum. Daum and Clemons were eliminated in the first round of the NIT, while Mathews scoring average dropped down 0.1 points.
- Mathews also moved into 3rd all-time in ASUN history in scoring during the first round of the ASUN tournament. He has 3,285 career points and has hit a 3-pointer in 40 consecutive games – tied for the 3rd longest streak in the country with Chris Clemons.
- Fellow senior Rob Marberry joined Mathews on the ASUN All-Conference First Team. He currently ranks 9th in Division I with a 63.3 field goal percentage after hitting 12-of-13 shots against UNCG. His 15.0 PPG is second best on the team.
- Mathews and Marberry earned nods on the NABC All-District Team last week. For Mathews, he has landed on the squad in three straight seasons, including back-to-back first team selections. Marberry found himself on the second team for the second straight year.
- Head man Casey Alexander was named the NABC District 3 coach of the year, voted on by his peers in his district. It’s the first time he has received the honor.
- The Bisons moved to 7th in the country in both scoring offense (83.7 PPG) and scoring margin (+14.3) after Saturday’s win. Their 48.6 FG% ranks 17th and 562 free throws made 23rd.
- Lipscomb leads the ASUN and ranks 8th nationally with 17.4 APG this season.
- Senior Eli Pepper has controlled the glass on the year for the Bisons, ranking sixth in the ASUN at 7.3 RPG. When he pulls down double-digit boards in a game, the Bisons are 8-0. He is a big reason Lipscomb ranks 22nd nationally with a 28.24 defensive rebounds per game average.
- Junior Kenny Cooper ranks second in the conference for both assists (4.2 per game) and steals (1.9). Cooper’s triple-double against Kennesaw State was the first for the Bisons since 2011 when Josh Slater posted 12 points, 10 assists and 10 steals. Those are the only two instances of a triple-double in Lipscomb’s NCAA era.
- Cooper has his a 3-pointer in 14 consecutive games after nailing one in just six of his first 19 games of the year.
- The Purple and Gold have recorded three-straight 20-win seasons for the first time in the NCAA Division I era.
The winner of Saturday’s matchup will advance to the final four of the NIT and earn a trip to New York City and the chance to play in Madison Square Garden. They will face the winner of Indiana and Wichita State, who play Tuesday evening.