Lipscomb knocks off ACU in competitive non-conference contest


ABILENE, Texas - Lipscomb guard Matt Rose scored all 15 of his points in the second half Monday night to lead the Bisons to a 75-67 win over ACU at Moody Coliseum in the first game between the two Church of Christ affiliated schools since 1959.

The Bisons (3-2) entered the game on a two-game losing streak with road losses at No. 25 Alabama and at Texas, but were able to withstand a late ACU rally to pull the win. Rose was the key figure for Lipscomb as he scored nine of his 15 points in the final 3:37 of the game to help his team hold off each Wildcat charge.

The game - a taught, gritty affair that had a post-season feel to it - was tied 57-57 with 4:59 to play after four straight points from ACU junior forward Jaren Lewis. But Lipscomb's Garrison Mathews - who came into the game averaging 23.5 points per game, but only scored eight in the game - hit a layup to give his team a lead it wouldn't lose with 4:50 left in the second half.

Andrew Fleming then hit 1 of 2 free throws for a three-point lead before Rose hit a pair from the charity stripe to give his team a 62-57 lead with 3:37 left. But Jalone Friday answered for the Wildcats with 1 of 2 free throws to make it 62-58 before Rob Marberry hit a layup with 3:07 to play put his team up 64-58.

ACU graduate transfer guard Tevin Foster - who led all scorers with a career-high 24 points - hit a pair of free throws with 2:58 to play to cut the lead to 64-60, and then hit two more at the 2:26 mark to cut the Lipscomb lead to 64-62. After a turnover by Mathews and steal by Isaiah Tripp, Lewis was fouled by Mathews with 2:02 left and went to the line to try and tie the game.

He missed the first and made the second and the Wildcats were down 64-63 two minutes left as the boisterous Moody Coliseum crowd rose to its feet to try and will the Wildcats to the finish line.

But Rose took a pass from Kenny Cooper with 1:54 left in the game and his quick 3-pointer from the top of the key found the bottom of the bucket to push Lipscomb's lead back to 67-64, putting an end to the Wildcats' comeback bid. Rose was 4 for 4 from the line in the final 32 seconds to ice the game for the Bisons.

ACU started the game just 4 of 18 from the floor, but hit 21 of its last 38 shots to finish the game shooting 44.6 percent (25 of 56). But the Wildcats struggled at the free throw line, hitting just 11 of 18 and missing three times on the front end of one-and-one opportunities.

Friday had 15 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats, while Lewis had 11 points and five rebounds. Rob Marberry led Lipscomb with 17 points, while Eli Pepper had four points and game-high 13 points. Michael Buckland had 10 points for the Bisons.

ACU (2-2) will return to action this weekend in the Creek Classic in Buies Creek, N.C., where it will play Campbell (Friday), South Carolina-Upstate (Saturday) and Bowling Green (Sunday). The Wildcats and Bisons will play again this season in a game scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 17, in Nashville, Tenn.

-Information provided by ACU Athletics