It was a run for the ages, but all good things must come to an end.
The Lipscomb Bisons, a squad featuring ties aplenty to Williamson County, made one last hurrah in the National Invitational Tournament Championship against Texas, but couldn’t quite overcome the Longhorns.
The team lost 81-66 in a game that saw a 22-5 late-first half run for Texas decide the match. Lipscomb went back and forth with the Lone Star State powerhouse for much of the first until the separation began.
The Bisons finish the year 29-8 and as NIT runners-up.
Head coach Casey Alexander, a Brentwood Academy alum, spoke to LipscombSports.com about the outcome.
“I told them, my real message to them was the absolute only thing to be sad about is that it’s over,” he said. “That’s it. We had an expectation to win the game. We thought we could win the game.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t win the game. We’re disappointed we didn’t play better but the only thing to be sad about is this team doesn’t have any more days together, and you know, but we have to finish it up — because we maxed out pretty well.”
Garrison Mathews, one of Lipscomb’s historic talents and a Franklin High alum, finished his dynamic career with the team with 15 points, while FRA alum and fellow senior standout Rob Marberry led the team with 15.
The difference was made from the perimeter, where Texas shot an eye-opening 13-for-37, while Lipscomb could only rally 5-for-17. The Longhorns shot 44-percent overall, compared to Lipscomb’s 39.9.
Alexander later spoke to Lipscomb Athletics about the impact of Mathews and Marberry on the team.
“Yeah, those two guys, those are all offensive numbers and that’s typically the strength of our team,” he said. “Garrison leaves our program on the way to the all-time leading Division I era scorer, and Rob, two-time all-conference player that scored well over a thousand points in his three seasons with us, and a really nice one-two punch.”
FRA alum Kenny Cooper will return to the Bisons for his senior season this fall, and fifth-year senior and BGA alum Nathan Moran finishes his time as a Bison.
“The results speak for themselves,” Alexander said of his senior class, which also features starter Eli Pepper and key reserve Matt Rose.
“We can’t really do anything about anything that’s happened in the first 125-year history of our school. But the last three years we’ve played in the NCAA Tournament and the Finals of the NIT. The more often we do that, the less people will ask, and that’s about all we can control.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics.
Simply put, this is what it’s all about. A team that loves each other & keeps the main thing the main thing…and a LARGE number of fans that love their team. So grateful. #ourteam pic.twitter.com/N7nrBXbkPI
— Casey Alexander (@CaseyAlexander_) April 5, 2019