|April 04, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||UT|
|FG Percentage||.393 (22-56)||.444 (28-63)|
|3P FG Percentage||.294 (5-17)||.351 (13-37)|
|FT Percentage||.850 (17-20)||.923 (12-13)|
- 17||Dylan Ostekowski
BUCKLAND - 8
- 5||Kerwin Roach II
ASADULLAH - 1
MARBERRY - 1
|Matt Coleman III
MATHEWS - 1
MARBERRY - 1
Courtney Ramey - 1
Kerwin Roach II - 1
Royce Hamm Jr. - 1
NEW YORK CITY - The Lipscomb men’s basketball team carried its season as far as it could go. The Bisons fell 81-66 to Texas in the NIT championship game on Thursday night in Madison Square Garden, ending a memorable tournament run and a historic season.
After winning three consecutive road games and an electrifying semifinal in New York City, Lipscomb (29-8) ran out of gas in the title game.
Texas (21-16) was hot from three-point range all night, draining 13 shots from behind the arc.
Senior Rob Marberry carried the Bisons offense early on, notching the team’s first six points. He finished with a team-high 17 points on 7-12 shooting in his final game for Lipscomb.
Fellow senior Garrison Mathews struggled to get it going from the field (2-10), but still ended up with 15 points thanks to a stellar 10-10 mark from the free throw line. He also tied for the team lead with eight rebounds.
Redshirt-freshman Ahsan Asadullah was a spark plug off the Bison bench, scoring 11 points on 5-7 shooting and grabbing three rebounds.
A 22-5 Texas run to tend the half gave the Longhorns a 41-27 halftime lead.
The Bisons were able to trim the Longhorns lead down to seven early in the second half thanks to a 7-0 run capped by a three-pointer from senior Nate Moran.
However, Texas responded with a number of big shots to break the game open late in the game.
Junior Michael Buckland tied Mathews for the team lead with eight rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists.
Marberry, Mathews, Moran, Matt Rose, Zach Flener, and Eli Pepper played their final games in the Purple and Gold after a memorable stint with the Bisons.
The senior class finishes with the most wins for a career and in a single season in the program’s Division I era. They received AP top-25 votes for the first time ever, knocked off a ranked team for the first time, and made the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
Thoughts from head coach Casey Alexander:
“Obvious, credit to Texas. They were the better team tonight. Better team usually wins. Felt like they missed some good looks early in the game that allowed us to get some momentum and then they made some tougher shots for the last 35 minutes or so, and they executed really well. They had 23 assists from 28 makes. Highly efficient offense that executed what they wanted to do. So we never really put the stops together to get enough momentum back in the second half.
“We had a couple of spurts, but not enough of it. Then, really, the game was decided on our offensive end. They did an excellent job guarding us. Garrison, for a large part, took him out of the game, especially until he got to the free throw line the second half, and that's what they do the best. They showed that against TCU, and so we just really struggled getting any offensive rhythm and not getting stops, bad formula, so they win the game. Disappointed for our team, obviously.”
On whether the approach was different than Tuesday:
“Not at all -- they took our threes away. They let us make those -- we had a lot of success being close early on if we were -- gosh, if we were seven or eight feet and about 14 points maxed out to start the game, and a little dry after that. But even in the end, the results we got inside were good. That's really our best option. They did a great job of just running screens and being there on the catch and taking shots away. So we had to take what they would give us. We're not the kind of team that can create the offense ourselves. We have to take what they give us, and that's what they gave us.”
On the senior class:
“The results speak for themselves. We can't really do anything about anything that's happened in the first 125-year history of our school. But the last three years we've played in the NCAA Tournament and the Finals of the NIT. The more often we do that, the less people will ask, and that's about all we can control.”
On if the loss in tonight’s game or the season ending was sadder:
“I told them, my real message to them was the absolute only thing to be sad about is that it's over. That's it. We had an expectation to win the game. We thought we could win the game. We're disappointed we didn’t win the game. We're disappointed we didn't play better but the only thing to be sad about is this team doesn’t have any more days together, and you know, but we have to finish it up -- because we maxed out pretty well.”
On the impact and accolades of Mathews and Marberry:
“Yeah, those two guys, those are all offensive numbers and that's typically the strength of our team. Garrison leaves our program on the way to the all-time leading Division I era scorer, and Rob, two-time all-conference player that scored well over a thousand points in his three seasons with us, and a really nice one-two punch.
"We're not going to be as good without those two guys on that end of the floor. What they did is they elevated the rest of them. It wasn't a two-man show. Our team collectively did a lot of really nice things. That was the strength of our team, even though we had some real highlight players as far as numbers goes, the strengths of our team was the quality of depth and a lot of guys that played their role great, and that's what makes teams -- ultimately that's what makes teams the most successful. We couldn't have been as we were and our bodies would not look like it does if it wasn't for Garrison and Rob; it took a lot of guys doing a lot of things real well.”
- Texas was paced by 19 from Dylan Osetkowski. Kerwin Roach II (16), Jase Febres (13), and Matt Coleman III (11) also scored in double-figures.
- Lipscomb shot 17-20 from the free throw line, but just 22-56 from the field and 5-17 from three-point range.
- Texas grabbed just one more rebound than Lipscomb (37-36). They handed out 23 assists to Lipscomb’s 20.
- Both teams produced 27 bench points.
- Pepper was handed a technical foul in the first half.
- The Bisons are now 0-3 vs Texas. They are 1-1 against Big 12 teams on the season after knocking off then No. 18 TCU on the road in November.
- The runner up finish is the highest an ASUN team has ever placed in the NIT.
- Marberry and Mathews were named to the All-Tournament team.