Bisons historic season comes to an end in NIT Final
The Lipscomb men’s basketball team carried its season as far as it could go.
Logan Butts | Lipscomb Athletics |
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 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.
- 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.