On Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, the Lipscomb Bisons will face off against the Texas Longhorns in the NIT Championship game. Lipscomb is a 5-seed and is 29-7 on the season. Texas is a 2-seed and is 20-16 on the season.
Strong Wins From Both Teams
Lipscomb is coming off a 71-64 win over Wichita State in their semifinal game on Tuesday. Lipscomb led by 5 at halftime but had to rally late as they trailed for most of the 2nd half. Garrison Mathews was incredible once again, scoring 34 points on 9 of 22 shooting to go with 5 rebounds and an assist. In his 2 previous games, Mathews scored 44 and 23 points, so he will look to keep it going. Rob Marberry was the only other player in double figures for the Bisons with 14 on 7 of 9 shooting. Eli Pepper led the team with 15 rebounds, and Kenny Cooper led the way with 10 assists.
Texas is coming off a 58-44 win over TCU in their semifinal game. The Longhorns held a comfortable lead for most of this game, and the result was never in doubt. Kerwin Roach II led the way with 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting to go with 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Dylan Osetkowski was the only other Longhorn in double figures with 13 points on 5 of 11 shooting and led the team in rebounds with 9. Courtney Ramey led the team in assists with 8 to go with 5 rebounds but was unable to score a point. Matt Coleman III chipped in 9 points, and Jase Febres added 8.
Mathews Leads Lipscomb
Lipscomb is led by Garrison Mathews, who is averaging 21.1 points per game and is shooting 40.6% from 3-point range. He is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 2 assists. Rob Marberry is averaging 14.7 points per game, and Kenny Cooper adds 10 points a game. Cooper is also the leading assister for the Bisons with 4.5 per game. Eli Pepper is the leading rebounder with 7.4 per game to go along with 7.3 points. Lipscomb is averaging 83.4 points per game on the season and is shooting 48.3% from the field.
Texas is led by Kerwin Roach II, who is averaging 15 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He is followed by Dylan Osetkowski, who averages 10.9 a game and is the leading rebounder with 7.1 a game. Jaxson Hayes scores 10 points and grabs 5 rebounds each game, and he also blocks 2.2 shots per game. Matt Coleman III is the leading assister with 3.3 per game and is chipping in 9.8 points each contest. The Longhorns are averaging 70.8 points a game on just 43.3% shooting.
Texas comes in as -1. Even though Texas is the bigger school and the more known program, Lipscomb will not go down without a fight. The Bisons looked like a tournament team all season long but were unable to win the automatic bid. The Bisons have been extremely hot shooting the ball and have been scoring an outrageous number of points. I think this is trouble for the Longhorns who have struggled to score all season long. Look for Garrison Mathews to have another monster night en route to a Lipscomb victory. Take Lipscomb +1.
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