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Lipscomb Should Hold Head High Even In NIT Final Defeat

NIT Lipscomb Texas Basketball
Posted at 10:50 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 23:56:05-04

NEW YORK, Ny. (WTVF) — This time there was no buzzer-beater or magical comeback. Texas ending Lipscomb’s remarkable NIT run one win shy of a championship with an 81-66 win Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Longhorns’ havoc defense harassed Lipscomb all night. The Bisons shot just 39 percent and star Garrison Matthews, who scored 34 in Tuesday’s comeback win over Wichita State, didn’t make a field goal until 8:20 left in the game. Matthews managed to
finish with 15, but it was a frustrating night for the senior star who was blanketed by Courtney Ramey.

“Really the game was decided on our offensive end,” Lipscomb Head Coach Casey Alexander said. “They did a great job defending us and pretty much shut him down most of the game. I’m still proud of our team, obviously. There’s a lot to be said for the season we had.”

The Bisons fell short in their final game, but it was not for lack of effort. A 7-0 run out of halftime cut a 14 point deficit in half. There were other mini-runs, but Texas answered each time.

Credit the Longhorns. They were the best team on this night. But that doesn’t take anything away from what Lipscomb accomplished over this three week postseason run.

Three straight road wins over higher seeded teams and a stirring second half comeback Tuesday here in the world’s most famous arena probably made the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee want to revisit their omission of the Bisons.

“This should put some respect on Lipscomb’s name,” center Rob Marberry said. “We’re a great school, we’re a basketball school and people should recognize that by now.”

Led by Matthews and Marberry, Lipscomb has enjoyed its best two years on the court in its Division One era. The Bisons have won 52 games, regular season and tournament championships in the Atlantic Sun, and a postseason resume many power conference schools would envy.

“The results speak for themselves,” Alexander said with a smile. “The last two years we’ve played in the NCAA Tournament and the finals of the NIT. The more often we can do that, the less people we’ll ask (about who we are).”

People now know Lipscomb basketball. And the ones still unaware will be impressed when they crawl out from under the rock.

There was no shame in defeat Thursday night for Lipscomb. It has a 29-win season, a conference championship and a postseason run full of memories to hang its hat on.

The only sadness is that there won’t be a practice tomorrow or another game played to enjoy this team.

“Absolutely the only thing to be sad about is that it’s over,” Alexander said. “We thought we could win the game. We’re disappointed we didn’t win the game and didn’t play better. But the only thing to be sad about is that this team doesn’t have any more days together.”

All good things must come to an end. And this Lipscomb season was a very good thing.