NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Just over 48 hours ago, Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews laid behind the Bisons bench at Tennessee State with uncertainty of whether an injury would end his season. On Monday night at Allen Arena, the junior erupted for a game-high 26 points, 20 of which came in the second half as the Purple and Gold swept the season series from Belmont with a 69-54 win in Nashville, Tennessee.
The reigning ASUN Player of the Week, Mathews hit 8-of-15 from the field including a trio of 3-pointers and drained 7-of-8 from the line as the Bisons (6-3) swept the Bruins (5-5) for the first time since the 2009-10 season. He was joined in double figures by sophomore guard Kenny Cooper, who added a career-high 18 points.
"The team really played well tonight but Garrison seemed to be in the right place at the right time to execute and deliver," said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. "Every time we needed something good to happen, he found a way to be in the right place."
The Bisons defense was stellar from the tip forcing 21 turnovers that led to 22 points and holding the Bruins to just 34 percent shooting from the field. Lipscomb held Belmont's Amanze Egekeze, who came into the night averaging 18.2 points per game, was held to just three points.
"In these two games we've been exceptional defensively," said Alexander. "Our guys have really followed the game plan well and are dialed in. They've communicated great on the actions that we're supposed to talk about.
"I'll be the first to admit that Belmont had a lot of looks in both games that didn't go in. When they're hard to come by, it's harder to make them. You're a little more rushed. There's a little more pressure. I give our guys credit for that."
- Lipscomb held Belmont to a season-low 54 points, the lowest output for the Bruins since March, 6, 2015.
- The Bisons held a 21-16 advantage in the turnover column.
- Both teams hauled in 37 rebounds and scored 24 points in the paint.
- Lipscomb held a 12-2 advantage in fast-break points.
- Three-point shooting was a big difference in the contest as Lipscomb hit 9-of-22 (40.9 percent), while Belmont hit 6-of-31 (19.4 percent).
Up next: Lipscomb hits the road to take on No. 24 Tennessee on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. The contest will air on the SEC Network.