Thursday, April 2 marks one of the most memorable anniversaries in Lipscomb basketball history as it was one year ago today that the Bisons made their debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City with a 71-64 victory over Wichita State in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The Bisons opened the game strong behind 10 quick points from Garrison Mathews and took a 35-30 lead into the half. After pushing the lead to eight on its first shot in the second half, Lipscomb had a hard time stopping the Shockers as Wichita State turned a 38-30 deficit into an 11-point lead at 61-50 with just over eight minutes to play.
Behind a three from Andrew Fleming and a pair of layups by Rob Marberry, the Bisons pulled to within seven points with 3:46 on the clock. On the ensuing possession after a pair of free throws from the Shockers, senior Nate Moran received a feed from Ahsan Asadullah out of the post and pulled up from Times Square and drained the biggest shot of the night, up to that point, to give Lipscomb a late spark.
After another layup from Marberry and two free throws from Kenny Cooper evened the score with two minutes remaining, Mathews – a “professional shooter” – got around a screen in front of the Lipscomb bench and buried his fifth three-pointer, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net, to give the Bisons a 67-64 lead and send the purple and gold faithful into a jubilant celebration that is synonomus with month of March.
The Bisons made a couple of stops late and Mathews sealed the game at the free throw line on his way to becoming the second all-time leading scorer in ASUN Conference history. The win also sent Lipscomb to the NIT Championship game, carrying the Bisons season to the last day they could have possibly played.
One year later and it feels as though the game just happened yesterday, but April 2, 2019 is a day that will forever live in Bisons history.
If you want to relive the game further, click HERE to read the Game Recap from that night.