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NCAA Tournament First Round: Lipscomb loses to UNC, 84-66

The defending champions were held in check for much of the first half, but Lipscomb couldn’t hang on.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-North Carolina vs Lipscomb Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Lipscomb’s NCAA Tournament debut ended in a loss, but the Bisons were far from embarrassed after a strong fight against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Lipscomb gave North Carolina everything it could handle in the first half, gaining an early six-point advantage and even a 33-31 lead after 16 minutes. The Tar Heels looked nervous at the start of the game, but Lipscomb was never able to take full advantage of UNC’s slow start. Once Lipscomb went up 33-31, UNC immediately tied the game and went on a 12-1 run to end the first half.

The Tar Heels were led by Kenny Williams (18 points) and Theo Pinson (15 points, 10 rebounds). Lipscomb needed to have a good day from beyond the arc to win, but the Bisons shot 7-28 from three and couldn’t keep pace. The Bisons’ sophomore point guard Kenny Cooper led the team with 14 points, but they fell behind by double digits early in the second half and never chipped away.

Lipscomb had its best season since its regular season Atlantic Sun title in 2010. Casey Alexander has plenty to be proud of in his fifth season at the helm after dethroning Florida Gulf Coast and making the NCAA Tournament. With Garrison Matthews, Rob Marberry and Cooper back for next season, there’s no reason why Lipscomb shouldn’t be competitive next season as well.

UNC will face Texas A&M, which defeated Providence 73-69.