A fiery three from Franklin High alum Garrison Mathews in part gave the Lipscomb Bisons an excuse to hang around the Big Apple just a little longer.
The team won a nail-biter with Wichita State in the National Invitational Tournament’s semifinals round at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, earning a spot in the NIT’s Championship Thursday night.
After the Bisons fell behind in a strong Shockers second half surge, Lipscomb cracked off a late rally of their own to retake the lead and punch their ticket for the latter-week chance at a NIT trophy.
They’ll be facing the Texas Longhorns in the final game, who bested TCU Tuesday.
Mathews, who was named to the AP All-American honorable mention list earlier in the day, banked the trey that gave the Bisons their final lead of the game late in the second half. They were down 11 with about four minutes to go, making the comeback all that more dramatic.
“I went cold there for a little while, so it was good to finally knock one down for my team and help them kind of get over the hump,” he told Lumination Network, Lipscomb’s student news service.
Mathews had 34 in the contest, his second-straight game with 30-plus points. This is a first in NIT tournament since 2011, per Lipscomb Sports.
Williamson County is well-represented with Lipscomb’s basketball team, with Brentwood Academy alum Casey Alexander at the helm, and FRA alums Rob Marberry and Kenny Cooper and BGA alum Nathan Moran all part of the program.
“It says a lot about our program and the current state of it,” Alexander told Lumination of the win. “We’ve got some guys with three straight 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament last year, and three road wins in the NIT before we came here, so they have accomplished a lot.”
The team will attempt to bring Lipscomb its first basketball championship since 1986 (NAIA), the Don Meyer era, Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics.
“If someone could ask me what I’d want from a team, what I want our team to be…it would be tough” – Casey Alexander pic.twitter.com/pFwZkWgFBv
— LipscombMBB (@LipscombMBB) April 3, 2019