|November 05, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||RHODES||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.311 (23-74)||.547 (41-75)|
|3P FG Percentage||.263 (5-19)||.333 (6-18)|
|FT Percentage||.571 (4-7)||.696 (16-23)|
WILEY - 13
FLEMING - 4
STRATES - 4
WILEY - 1
NASHVILLE – Lennie Acuff and the Lipscomb men’s basketball team opened its 2019-20 season Tuesday with a convincing 104-55 victory over Rhodes College in Allen Arena.
Sophomore big man Ahsan Asadullah pulled down the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bisons charge in Acuff’s purple and gold debut.
“I told the guys after the game that this is my 30th season as a head coach, but tonight was as nervous as I have ever been for an opening game. It’s a new place and I wanted the team to play well.
“I thought we played really hard in the first half, we just didn’t play very well. But in the second half I felt we slowed the game down a little bit and got in our lane. I am proud of the way the guys played.”
Making his first-career start, Andrew Fleming joined Asadullah in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. The senior guard also reeled in seven boards and matched a team-high with four assists.
“We put in a lot of work over the summer working every day,” Fleming said. “I love these teammates and am excited to play with them. They are all great guys, and you can see on the floor we have fun. I think our comradery translates to us playing well on the court together.”
While the Bisons put up 104 points, one story of the game was the team’s defense. Lipscomb converted 18 turnovers into 28 points, and registered six blocks and six steals.
“Coach Acuff is a really smart coach and he continues to work with us and put things in the playbook that we are still learning,” Fleming said. “He keep preaching to us that come January and February, we are going to be a really good team.”
The Bisons got three offensive rebounds in the first three minutes to help them jump out to a 10-0 lead they would never surrender.
Freshman KJ Johnson led all scorers with 14 points, 12 of which came in the second half where the guard shot 4-of-6 from the floor. Starters Greg Jones, Jake Wolfe and Buckland each followed with eight points, while Jaxson Strates, John Matt Merritt and Miles Miller also chipped in eight apiece from the bench.
All 14 Bisons who saw the floor Tuesday night got into the scoring column.
“We lost a lot of production from last year and it’s going to take us some time to find our way, but we have some really good pieces and most of all, really good kids,” Acuff said. “I am excited about where this team is going to go.”
Lipscomb boasted a 54.7 field goal percentage (41 of 75) and dominated the paint 62-34, while limited the Lynx to just 31.1 percent shooting (23 of 74). The Bisons also dished 18 assists and committed only 11 turnovers, leading to just one second-chance point for Rhodes.
For Rhodes, Bryce Berry and Koki Wiley paced the way with 13 points, while Kevin Shen also reached double figures (10).
- The 104 points are the most by a Lipscomb team in the NCAA era since putting up 121 against Oakland City in 2008.
- Lipscomb won its season opener for the sixth straight season and improved to 25-0 all-time at Allen Arena against non-Division I foes.
- The Bisons were victorious in their first official game under Lennie Acuff.
- Asadullah and Strates matched Fleming with a team-high four assists.
- Nine different Bisons grabbed at least three rebounds. Transfer Parker Hazen snatched eight in seven minutes off the bench to finish only behind Asadullah’s 12 for the team lead.
- Ole Miss transfer Miles Miller played a productive 13 minutes where he was perfect on three field goal attempts for eight points. He and Merritt (4 of 4) were the only Bisons to not miss from the field.
- Six players hit a triple, helping the Bisons to a 6-of-18 night from beyond the arc.
- The purple and gold shot hit 64 percent of its field goals in the second half (23 of 36).
- Lipscomb shot 70 percent from the charity stripe (16 of 23), compared to 57 percent (4 of 7) by Rhodes.
- Alex Jones led the team with two steals, and freshman Jacob Hobb recorded a team-best three blocks.
The Bisons host the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee for homecoming on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Allen Arena. It will be the first visit to campus for the Blue Raiders since 1961.