Thursday, November 24, 2016

Five Lincoln Blue Tigers Score In Double Figures In 90-81 Win

LEBANON, Illinois -- Five players scored in double figures and the Lincoln men's basketball team led for nearly the entire game as the Blue Tigers defeated McKendree, 90-81, on the road on Tuesday night (Nov. 22).

Richie Lewis opened the scoring by hitting a pair of free throws, and McKendree answered with a three-pointer just under a minute into the game. That ended up being the Bearcats' only lead of the night, as a jumper by Tacourrus Mattox keyed Lincoln on a 12-0 run that gave the Blue Tigers would never relinquish.

After McKendree (1-2) made it an eight point game with about nine minutes left in the half, Lincoln (4-1) responded with nine-straight points to go up 37-20 with 5:38 until halftime. Maurice Mason started the run with a layup off a fast break and finished it with a three-pointer. The Blue Tigers ended up taking a 46-34 lead into halftime.

Lincoln scored the first seven points of the second half, and led by as many as 20 early in the period. The closest the Bearcats would come to a rally was a nine-point deficit with 5:43 remaining, but Jaylon Smith ended that brief run with a jumper and later hit a trey to put the Blue Tigers back up by 17. McKendree never got the LU lead back down to single digits until hitting a three with 15 ticks left on the clock.

Smith led a balanced LU scoring attack with 26 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds while dishing four assists, registering three steals and recording a block. Mattox and Mason each scored 14 points, with Mattox also grabbing three rebounds. Rod Ollison added 12 points and three rebounds to the winning cause while Anthony Virdure chipped in 11 points, dished five assists and grabbed four boards.

O'Shai Clark finished just outside double figures with nine points, three assists and a pair of steals. Lewis totaled four points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds while Darrius Spencere had a pair of rebounds.

Lincoln will open its home slate on Saturday (Nov. 26) when the Blue Tigers host Truman State at 4:00 p.m. CST. Lincoln is holding a canned food drive in conjunction with the game, and fans who bring three or more canned food items will be granted free admission to the contest.


Dan Carr, Assistant AD for Media Relations

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