Defense was definitely the primary focus in the 2019 NIT Championship Game between the Lipscomb Bisons and Texas Longhorns, at least at first. While both teams would have preferred to make it to the Big Dance, they both looked great on their way to the final, where Texas managed to secure a n 81-66 victory.
Garrison Matthews couldn’t buy a basket on Thursday, at one point in the second half, he was 0-7 on shot attempts, while Lipscomb leaned on Rob Marberry to pick up the slack. Matthews hit his first non-free throw with eight minutes left in the second half, when he hit a three.
At the end of the first half, Texas held a significant 27-41 lead. Both teams had struggled scoring out of the gate, with Lipscomb putting up the first bucket, followed by more than three minutes of missed and blocked shots. The offense, at least for Texas, really picked up in the second half and Lipscomb seemed deflated as the half went on.
Dylan Osetkowski led the way for Texas, sinking three three-pointers and accounting for 19 points. Kerwin Roach II played well off the bench, with 16 points in the game.
Texas finished the regular season with a 16-16 record, while Lipscomb finished at 25-7.
The viewing information that was included before the game is left below.
The Texas Longhorns and Lipscomb Bisons couldn’t make it to the NCAA Tournament, but they’ve both found a ton of success in the NIT, and will meet in the NIT Championship Game on Thursday. The game is set for 7 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden, and will be broadcast by ESPN (live streaming via WatchESPN).
Texas is coming off a 58-44 victory over TCU, while Lipscomb is coming off a 71-64 victory over Wichita State, who themselves made it through some tough opponents on their way to the semifinals in Clemson and Indiana.
In all, Texas has beaten South Dakota State, Xavier, Colorado and TCU on their way to Thursday’s championship game. Lipscomb has bested Davidson, UNC Greensboro, NC State and Wichita State.
Texas had lost to TCU twice in the regular season before eliminating them in the semifinals. Lipscomb trailed by 11 points to Wichita State in the second half, but came back to punch their ticket to the NIT Championship Game.
Garrison Matthews is averaging 21.1 points per game for Lipscomb, while Kerwin Roach II leads the way for Texas at 15 points per game.
Below is all you need to know to watch the action on Thursday.
How to watch Lipscomb vs. Texas in NIT Championship Game
Date: Thursday, April 4
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Online Streaming: WatchESPN