|February 13, 2020||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||NJIT||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.355 (22-62)||.564 (31-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.182 (4-22)||.313 (5-16)|
|FT Percentage||.833 (15-18)||.769 (10-13)|
NASHVILLE – Ahsan Asadullah led four players in double figures and recorded his 10th double-double of the year as the Lipscomb men’s basketball team extended its winning streak with a 77-63 victory over NJIT Thursday inside Allen Arena.
With the win, the Bisons (11-14, 6-6 ASUN) became the fourth team to clinch their spot in next month’s ASUN Championship and moved into fourth place in the standings all alone.
“I thought we played well tonight,” head coach Lennie Acuff said. “Of all the teams in the league, they (NJIT) were the ones that handled us the easiest the first time around. They took us to the woodshed up there so we really challenged our guys this week. I told them we were better than what we showed on that day.
“We tried to remind our team about that loss every day. I love the way they responded tonight. It was a great win for us.”
Asadullah finished with his second straight 27-point performance to go along with 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. The sophomore now has scored 20 or more points in seven of 11 conference games, including four of the last six.
“Ahsan was incredible,” Acuff said. “He is really playing some good basketball right now.”
KJ Johnson led all Bison bench players with 12 points and produced six rebounds with three assists. Greg Jones and Michael Buckland each added 11 points.
“KJ played a really good floor game tonight,” Acuff said.
After shooting 58 percent and building a 15-point advantage in the first half, Lipscomb came out of the locker room ice cold. The Bisons missed seven of their first 10 shots and turned the ball over on three straight trips down the floor, while NJIT was the opposite.
The Highlanders (7-17, 4-7 ASUN) connected on 8-of-13 field goals to open the second half and within the first 7:08, Lipscomb’s 15-point lead was cut to two at 46-44. That would be as close as they would get however, as three-point specialist Carson Cary connected from the corner to spark the Bisons.
“Carson has had a nice role for our team this year,” Acuff said. “Every time he shoots the ball I think it’s going in. He has helped us in many games.”
That shot jumpstarted a 19-2 run where five Bisons contributed points over the next seven minutes to stretch Lipscomb’s lead to the largest of the night at 65-49.
“We knew after the first half that we had, NJIT would come out and try to make a run in the second half,” Asadullah said. “We were able to take it on the chin and continue fighting to push the lead back out.”
The two teams traded buckets the rest of the way until the final buzzer sounded.
“I was proud of the guys for not weltering when NJIT cut the score to one possession, we really stayed the course,” Acuff said.
The first 20 minutes of action saw the purple and gold dominate in nearly every facet of the game as the Bisons went right at the middle of the NJIT defense.
Asadullah scored 18 of his 27 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting and pulled down five rebounds, setting the tone. The Bisons outscored NJIT 24-10 in the paint and 9-0 off the bench in the first half. The team’s three-point defense was spectacular as well, limiting the visitors to just 1-of-12 before halftime.
Lipscomb shot 56.4 percent from the field in the game (31-of-55) and 31.3 percent from deep (5-of-16). Led by Asadullah’s 5-of-6 effort, the Bisons finished 10-of-13 from the stripe (76.9%).
NJIT mustered just a 35.5 percent clip shooting (22-of-62), including a 4-for-22 mark from beyond the arc (18.2%).
Zach Cooks, the ASUN’s leading scorer, finished with a team-high 22 points on 8-of-20 field goals. Reilly Walsh (15) and Souleymane Diakite (11) also recorded double figures.
- Lipscomb outrebounded NJIT 36-29 and scored 10 second-chance points off six offensive boards.
- The team’s 17 assists were the most since recording 20 against Kennesaw State on January 9.
- The Bisons never trailed in the game and held the lead for 37:07 of play.
- Johnson has now scored in double figures in three straight outings and in five of the last seven. His six rebounds were just one off his career high set at Navy (7).
- Buckland shot 5-of-7 from the floor and added five assists and four rebounds to his 11 points.
- Andrew Fleming totaled six points in 19 minutes.
Lipscomb stays home to welcome FGCU at 4 p.m. on a jam-packed Saturday. The day will feature the 9th-Annual Adoption Rally, Star Wars Day, the return of Garrison Mathews and the unveiling of the department’s new Bison logo.
“We better get off to a better start this time around against FGCU, they got on us 19-2 down there,” Acuff said. “They have a nice team.”
Get your tickets today at http://www.LipscombTickets.com!