FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kenny Cooper turned a steal into a breakaway layup that put Lipscomb ahead only seconds after halftime at No. 18 TCU.
The Bisons never gave up the lead and went on to win 73-64 on Tuesday night, their first victory over a Top 25 team .
“Our mentality at the beginning of the second half was completely different than at the beginning of the game,” coach Casey Alexander said. “Our guys were timid and passive early, and so that gave us more of a lift emotionally than it did just somebody making a good play.”
The Bisons (4-1), who trailed by 14 points early in the game, pushed in front by 12 after halftime before TCU’s Kouat Noi missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 90 seconds left. Garrison Mathews grabbed the rebound and made a game-sealing 3 at the other end.
Mathews scored 23 points, Cooper had 17 and Rob Marberry 13 for the ASUN Conference preseason favorites, who had been 0-13 against ranked teams since 2006. All of those losses were by double digits.
“It’s a big win,” Alexander said. “We talked about it before the game, we talked about it at halftime — a chance to give Lipscomb a win that it had never had before, against a ranked team.”
Alex Robinson had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for TCU (3-1), which lost a November game for the first time since 2015. The Horned Frogs’ 18-game winning streak during the month had been the second-longest among Division I programs, behind only Virginia’s 21 in a row.
“We knew how good these guys were,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “When we scheduled, we knew they’d be all seniors, they’re all back, they were in (the NCAA) Tournament last year, it’s early in the season.”
While TCU has played seven newcomers as it prepares for the Big 12 schedule, Lipscomb has one of the most experienced teams in the country, returning 92 percent of its offense from a squad that scored 82 points per game last season. The Bisons started three seniors and two juniors.
“Moments like this is where you may see that,” Alexander said.
The Bisons trailed 22-8 midway through the first half before a tying 16-2 run that included 10 points in a row. Cooper started the spurt with a layup and 3-pointer. TCU had a 30-29 halftime lead only after Robinson hit an off-balance 3 from the top of the key to beat the shot clock in the closing seconds of the first half.
Lipscomb: Going into the game, the Bisons had 6,385 career points on their active roster, the most in the country. The second-most: Big 12 team Kansas State with 4,929.
TCU: Point guard Jaylen Fisher played his first game since January. He made his season debut after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He missed his only shot and had two fouls while playing just seven minutes before halftime. Noi also played his first game after being sidelined because of a right knee issue.
HE SAID IT
“Once we got down there and got into a one-possession game, they simply just went at us inside, bigs as well as their guards, and almost overpowered us,” Dixon said. “I was surprised with how physical they were compared to us, and we simply got what we deserved.”
Lipscomb outscored TCU 42-26 in the paint.
BIG DFW SWING
Lipscomb beat SMU 79-73 only three days earlier, a trip that started after a home loss to rival Belmont last Thursday.
“We turned around two days later, after a hard day’s travel, commercial, not charter now, and then get this trip like we did,” Alexander said. “It says a lot about our team.”
Lipscomb plays the third of five consecutive road games Saturday at Morehead State.
TCU gets a break for Thanksgiving before resuming a six-game homestand to start the season. The Frogs play Eastern Michigan on Monday night.
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