Liberty Flames vs Lipscomb Bisons

An automatic berth in the NCAA tournament is on the line, as the Liberty Flames take on the Lipscomb Bisons in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament final. The game will be broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, March 10th at 3pm EST from Allen Arena in Nashville.

How to Watch

Where: Allen Arena in Nashville, TN, USA.

When: Sunday, March 10th, at 3pm EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN

Liberty Flames (Away)

Head Coach: Ritchie McKay {Overall: 27-6, .818 W-L% | Conference: 14-2, T-1st in Atlantic Sun}

The Flames enter his contest looking to clinch their first ticket to the Big Dance since 2013. Coach McKay's team had a good experience the last time they visited Allen Arena, as they beat the Bisons 74-66 on February 13th to split the season series.

Liberty reached this game by taking down North Florida 71-63 on Thursday. The victory over the Ospreys was fuelled junior forward Scottie James, who dropped 24 points to go with 9 rebounds, while senior guard Caleb Homesley chipped in with 13 points.

Lipscomb Bisons (Home)

Head Coach: Casey Alexander {Overall: 25-6, .806 W-L% | Conference: 14-2, T-1st in Atlantic Sun}

Since joining Division I in 2003, the Bisons have made the NCAA Tournament just once, which occurred last season. Casey Alexander and his staff should have plenty of game tape for a team they have already faced twice. One of those wins was on the road, where Lipscomb served up a 79-59 road beat down on Liberty on January 29th.

Lipscomb's road to the final made it's most recent stop at home against NJIT on March 7th, winning 78-55. Leading scorer Garrison Mathews was his usual productive self, scoring 22 points in the win, while junior forward Matt Rose came off the bench to contribute 17 points.

Liberty Roster Notes

Liberty has no injury news or roster changes to report

Lipscomb Roster Notes

Freshman forward Jaxson Strates is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered in November.

Head-to-Head: Garrison Mathews vs Scottie James

Garrison Mathews

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 204lb (196cm, 92kg) | Franklin HS | Franklin, TN | Senior

20.0 PPG | 1.9 APG | 5.1 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .452 FG% | .409 3P%

Scottie James

Power Forward | 6-8, 235lb (203cm, 106kg) | Tarpon Springs HS | Tarpon Springs, FL | Junior

13.0 PPG | 1.2 APG | 8.8 RPG | 0.3 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .676 FG% | .333 3P%

The key matchup for this game will be between each team's leading scorer. Each of these upperclassmen have taken different routes to becoming the number one options on offense for two mid-major schools that managed to crack the 25 win plateau.

From the moment he arrived in Lynchburg, Garrison Mathews has simply been getting buckets. After averaging just over 10 points per game as a freshman in 2015/2016, Mathews upped his scoring clip to over 20 per game, which has not dipped since. His scoring prowess has led to him becoming the second leading scorer in conference history, and the leader in made three pointers.

Unlike Mathews, Scottie James started his career in a limited reserve role at another school before transferring to his current squad. The former Bradley Brave went from averaging just over 3 points per game, to 13.5 in his first year in Nashville. What makes James valuable to his team is contributions in addition to scoring, namely his rebounding. The Florida native led the conference in total rebound percentage at 22.6%, a statistic where he ranks third in the NCAA this season.

Liberty at Lipscomb Predictions and Odds

Oddsmakers currently favour Lipscomb by 6.5 points on their home court over Liberty. The over/under for the game is listed at 139.5.

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