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Never Made The Tourney Club Game of the Week: Lipscomb loses to Alabama 86-64


European Bison Project Seeks A Return To The Wild Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Lipscomb is a really good Atlantic Sun team who will absolutely give Florida Gulf Coast all it can handle. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do in the face of overwhelming athleticism.

Alabama was too physical, too fast, and too long for Lipscomb to contain in the half court. Collin Sexton, that top-10 recruit who you may have heard about, wasted no time introducing himself to the college basketball world. After missing the Crimson Tide’s first game, all Sexton did in his opener was score 22 on a ruthlessly efficient 7-10 shooting from the floor. He scored at every level, flashed some open court wizardry, and generally ran the proceedings for 40 minutes.

The “lesser” of Alabama’s gilded freshman class, John Petty, proved he was no slouch either, throwing down some highlight reel slams and showing some pretty touch from the outside. It was just too much to ask for Lipscomb to contain those athletes on the perimeter. Thanks to constant penetration off the bounce, Alabama got good shot after good shot, shooting 60 percent from the floor.

You just don’t win basketball games when you defend like that.

Behind their efficient offense, Alabama pulled out an 86-64 victory.

Also, the first 200 words of this write up were written through clenched teeth and fists, because I need to talk to you about the officiating of this game.

It was, incredibly bad.

Alabama absolutely deserved a hearty advantage in fouls drawn and foul shots taken. They were the aggressors all night and deserved an edge in the foul shot battle.

They didn’t deserve to have 33 foul shots tonight.

Simply put, some highly questionable 50-50 calls turned what was a competitive game into a rout. Rob Marberry, who, God bless him, still scored 15 points, was given his fourth foul before the first media break of the second half. It was on a play where he was no closer to raking his man’s arm than I was. Fellow frontcourt member, Eli Pepper, got in serious foul trouble early as well.

If Marberry and Pepper could have played their regular rotation minutes and been able to play aggressive defense all night, this game does not end up with a final score of 86-64. Lipscomb was within a couple of possessions for the majority of the night. This game was not as much of a blowout as it looked.

We’re just getting started into our Never Made The Tourney Club experience, and despite the bloated final score of this game, I’m feeling confident. Grand Canyon has held serve, and Utah Valley made top-tier programs awfully nervous over the weekend.

The WAC is the home of the NMTC this season.

Lipscomb impressed the heck out of me tonight too. If they can get hot at the right time, they can make the Atlantic Sun a lot more competitive than most think.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint in the NMTC. Do not lose faith in these early days.