Midstate Hoops: Lipscomb rebounds from slow start

Lipscomb‘s Garrison Mathews, a sophomore from Franklin, is averaging 19.8 points per game this season.(Photo: Lipscomb Athletics)

It‘s been a season of streaks for the .

The Bisons started in the wrong direction but after suffering a reversed course and have been on a tear.

Lipscomb has won 11 of its past 13 games — its best stretch in seven years.

Four players —, Josh Williams (14.9), Nathan Moran (12.6) and Rob Marberry (13.7) — have averaged double-figure scoring over the past 13 games.

Mathews, a sophomore from Franklin, is the fourth-leading scorer in the Atlantic Sun, averaging 19.8 points.

The Bisons (15-11) have gone from being ranked near the bottom in the nation at 346th out of 351 teams in the RPI to 180th.

More importantly, they are 7-2 in the Atlantic Sun and have climbed to second place, just one game behind first-place Florida Gulf Coast, which they play Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

It‘s the best start in the conference for Lipscomb since going 9-2 in 2005-06.

A win would mark the first time in seven years the Bisons have had a share of the conference lead this late in the season.

TSU‘s McCall sidelined with knee injury

Not only did Tennessee State overcome an 11-point deficit to beat Austin Peay 70-66 on Saturday night, but the Tigers also did it without the services of leading scorer. The senior guard missed the game with an injured knee.

McCall hurt his knee in the first half of the previous game against Eastern Illinois. He was able to return and play in the second half with a brace on his knee in that game, but the soreness had become too severe for him to play against Austin Peay.

McCall leads the Tigers in scoring (14.5 points), assists (5.0) and steals (3.0).

His status for Thursday‘s game at Tennessee Tech is questionable.

Sophomore Armani Chaney replaced McCall in the starting lineup against Austin Peay and finished with six points, two rebounds and one assist.

Guard Darreon Reddick also helped fill the void by scoring a season-high 19 points.

“It was a good opportunity for Armani Chaney to get some more playing time,” coach Dana Ford said. “Sometimes it’s hard because Tahjere McCall is so good defensively and he’s capable of going on such huge (scoring) runs and he can do so much. We used it as an opportunity to develop Armani. He was ready to play. Darreon Reddick stepped up as well. We just told those guys it was their time (to) step up and show some leadership.”

Belmont‘s Bradds is Julius Erving Award finalist

was named a finalist for the

Bradds has scored at least 20 points in each of the past 10 games. He leads the in scoring (21.2) and is ranked 17th nationally.

The other Julius Erving Award finalists: Kelan Martin, Butler; Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson; Jayson Tatum, Duke; Dwayne Bacon, Florida State; Josh Jackson, Kansas; Dillon Brooks, Oregon; Justin Jackson, North Carolina, Josh Hart, Villanova; and Trevon Bluiett, Xavier.

The winner will be named at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show on April 7.

Chowbay earns first player of week award

Former Mt. Juliet High standout Caleb Chowbay, who started his career at Belmont before transferring to Martin Methodist, averaged 21 points while shooting 73 percent in the RedHawks‘ past two games.

The senior guard was tabbed the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday. It was his first time winning the award.

Chowbay has scored in double-figures in 21 of 24 games this season.

Reach Mike Organ at and on Twitter .

CAN‘T-MISS GAMES THIS WEEK

Thursday: Lipscomb at Florida Gulf Coast men, 6 p.m.
Thursday: TSU at Tennessee Tech men, 6 p.m.
Thursday: Cumberland at Lindsey Wilson women, 6 p.m.
Thursday: Old Dominion at MTSU men, 7 p.m.
Thursday: MTSU at Old Dominion women, 6 p.m.
Saturday: Austin Peay at Murray State men, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Belmont at Tennessee Tech men, 7:30 p.m. 

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