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NIT championship game has local tie

By TIM GUERCIO

The Natchez Democrat

In today’s National Invitational Basketball Tournament championship game  Lipscomb University’s Garrison Mathews will be playing for his family’s second national championship.

Mathews is the grandson of Natchez-native Fred Kimbrell, who graduated from Natchez High in 1960 and was a member of the 1962 Ole Miss national championship football team

“We are so proud of Garrison and the Lipscomb team,” Kimbrell said. “They are all such good friends. None of them want to stand out. They want to share the experience together.”

Lipscomb, a small private college located in Nashville, Tennessee, will tip off against University of Texas Longhorns at 5 p.m. today at Madison Square Garden in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

The game will be aired live on ESPN.

No. 24, Mathews is a 6-foot-5, 204-pound senior guard for Lipscomb.

After beating Davidson College 89-81 and UNC Greensboro 86-69, Lipscomb beat two college basketball heavyweights.

In the quarterfinal game Lipscomb beat North Carolina State 94-93.

Mathews poured in 44 points, a Division I school record.

That game earned the Bisons the trip to the Big-Apple and the New York Knicks home court in Madison Square Garden, to play in The NIT Final Four.

In the semi-final game Tuesday night Lipscomb won again, beating Wichita State 71-64. Mathews hit for 34 points in that game.

The Longhorns got to the Championship game by beating state rival Texas Christian University 58-44

Mathews was raised in Franklin, Tennessee, and chose to go to college and play basketball at Lipscomb in Nashville, not too far from his home, Kimbrell said.

Mathews is this year’s ASUN conference player of the year and was named to the All Conference team all four years. The Associated Press named him to their All-American team honorable mention.

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