|February 08, 2020||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||KSU|
|FG Percentage||.500 (27-54)||.393 (24-61)|
|3P FG Percentage||.133 (2-15)||.188 (3-16)|
|FT Percentage||.727 (16-22)||.750 (15-20)|
LOCKLEY - 3
BUCKLAND - 1
ASADULLAH - 1
WASHINGTON - 2
HAZEN - 1
ASADULLAH - 1
KENNESAW, Ga. – Lipscomb men’s basketball erased a 7-point deficit in the second half Saturday afternoon to outlast Kennesaw State 72-66 at the KSU Convocation Center, finishing off a perfect ASUN Conference road trip.
“I am really proud of our team, anytime you can get a road sweep it’s huge,” head coach Lennie Acuff said. “I thought Kennesaw played really well and we knew they would be ready, but this was a really good team win for us.”
Ahsan Asadullah led the Bisons with 27 points on 13-of-21 shooting, and got 20 points off the bench from freshman KJ Johnson. After the duo scored just six total points in the first half, they combined for 41 of the team’s 47 points after halftime.
Kennesaw State (1-22, 0-10 ASUN) was led by Tyler Hooker, who recorded 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Ugo Obineke added 12 points, while Bryson Lockley grabbed a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
The game was a battle right from the tip with the two ASUN foes exchanging buckets. Lipscomb jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first three minutes behind Asadullah and Andrew Fleming, but a second foul from the big man at 15:45 sent him to the bench where he sat for the next 13 minutes. Over that stretch, the Owls outscored the Bisons 23-16 and eventually took a 30-25 lead into the half.
Junior Parker Hazen gave the Bisons some big minutes when Asadullah went to the pine. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor and led the team with seven points and five rebounds in the opening stanza.
“When Ahsan got into foul trouble in the first half it threw a dent into what we were trying to do, but I thought Parker really gave us a big lift off the bench in his absence,” Acuff said.
Plagued by eight turnovers and a 1-for-10 performance from beyond the arc the Bisons were never able to get any rhythm, but they did manage to keep it a close contest as neither team led by more than two possessions until the opening minute of the second half.
KSU scored the first points of the second stanza before Asadullah caught fire. The nearby Atlanta native deposited eight of the team’s first 13 points in the half to pull the Bisons back even at 38-38 with 14:30 to play.
Asadullah and Johnson began going right at the Owls in the paint. The 1-2 punch scored 25 consecutive points for Lipscomb, and 33 of the next 35 before Parker Hazen knocked down a pair of free throws to give the purple and gold a 67-62 advantage with 1:09 on the clock. From there Johnson went 4-for-4 at the stripe and Michael Buckland added another to secure the road win.
“We rode KJ and Ahsan the whole way in the second half,” Acuff said. “We wanted to throw it to Ahsan every time down the floor, and not only did he do a great job of scoring, but he was fantastic sharing the ball as well.”
Behind a 61% shooting clip in the second half, the Bisons finished the afternoon 27-of-54 from the field (50%) and knocked down 16 of their 22 attempts from the charity stripe (72.7%).
KSU hit 24-of-61 overall (39.3%) and made 15-of-20 off the line (75%). Neither team shot the ball well from deep, as Lipscomb went just 2-of-15 and matched its second fewest total of the season.
- Lipscomb has won nine straight games against Kennesaw State and 19 of the last 21.
- The Bisons have now won back-to-back road games after entering the weekend on a 3-game skid away from Allen Arena.
- Hazen was the third Bison to finish in double figures with 10 points and seven rebounds. He went perfect from the floor and 4-6 from the stripe.
- Asadullah finished one-point shy of his career high set earlier this season against the Owls (28). The 27-point effort gave him his seventh game this season of 20-plus points, six of which have come against ASUN opponents.
- Johnson notched his first 20-point game since scoring 21 versus Trevecca on Dec. 18. The freshman guard finished the weekend 13-of-23 from the field, averaging 17.5 PPG.
- Lipscomb won the battle on the boards 36-34, despite giving up seven offensive rebounds in the first half.
- The Bisons dominated the bench points 31-21 and also controlled the points in the paint 50-40.
- With the win Lipscomb climbed back up the ASUN standings and is now tied with Jacksonville and North Alabama for fourth.
Lipscomb will return to Nashville for two of its final three home games of the regular season next weekend. The Bisons will welcome NJIT at 6:30 p.m. Thursday before hosting FGCU at 4 p.m. Saturday. The contest with the Eagles will be Lipscomb’s annual Star Wars Day and Adoption Rally.
“Those are two teams that got us the first time on the road,” Acuff said. “You don’t want to be swept by anyone, so they will be two big games this weekend. We will take tomorrow and Monday off, and then we will get back after it and get ready for NJIT and FGCU.”