NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Top seeded Lipscomb advanced to the semifinals of the 2019 ASUN Conference Men's Basketball Championship on Monday night, as they took down No. 8 Kennesaw State, 86-71. This marks Lipscomb's fifth-straight appearance in the semifinals and they now just sit two wins away from back-to-back ASUN Championships.
Junior guard, Kenny Cooper stole the show for Lipscomb, as he recorded the first triple-double in school history since 2011 when Josh Slater accomplished the feat. Cooper scored 15 points, dished out 10 assists and pulled down 10 boards. Teammate and ASUN Player of the Year, Garrison Mathews led all scorers with 26 points, with 18 of them coming in the first half.
Kennesaw State came out swinging in the first half, as they trailed by just one at the 8:33 mark. The Bisons responded, as they embarked on a 25-6 run to end the half. Mathews, Cooper and Eli Pepper all drilled threes to fuel the run. The Bisons finished the half 7-19 from beyond the arc. Cooper took seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists into the locker room.
Lipscomb looked to run away with the contest to begin the half, as they extended their lead to 47-31. The Owls would not back down, as Bobby Parker and Danny Lewis led KSU back into the game with big shot after big shot. The Owls would get as close as four points when Parker knocked down an and-one three-pointer with 9:22 remaining. As they've done all year though, Lipscomb sealed the deal down the stretch. The Bisons hit six of seven free throws in the final 10 minutes to take the game by a score of 86-71.
Lewis and Parker stepped up big in the absence of All-Conference performer, Tyler Hooker. Lewis scored a team-high 25 points on 10-24 from the field, while Parker chipped in with 18 points on 6-12 from the field and 5-9 from three-point land.
Lipscomb now turns its focus to No. 5 seed, NJIT. The Highlanders defeated the FGCU in Fort Myers on Monday night to advance to their first-ever ASUN Championship Semifinals. Tip off is set for 7 PM CT at Allen Arena. On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 seed Liberty hosts No. 3 North Florida in Lynchburg, Va.
#1 Lipscomb vs. #8 Kennesaw State - ASUN Quarterfinals Notes
- Kenny Cooper is the first Lipscomb player to record a triple-double since 2011 and its the second in Lipscomb's Division I era
- The Bisons advance to the semifinals for the fifth-straight season; Lipscomb won the ASUN Championship in 2018
- Lipscomb faces No. 5 NJIT on Thursday night at 7 PM CT. The Bisons swept the season series from NJIT
- Danny Lewis and Bobby Parker combined for 43 of KSU's 71 points
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