LMU’s upset bid falls short in 86-79 exhibition loss at Butler
Published 8:23 pm Monday, November 6, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A monster night from Emanuel Terry wasn’t enough for the No. 4 Railsplitters, who saw their upset bid fall just short in an 86-79 loss to the Butler Bulldogs in exhibition action on Saturday at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Terry led all players in scoring, rebounding and blocks, racking up 24 points, one shy of his career high, nine boards and five blocks. The senior forward went a nearly perfect 8-for-9 from the field and also canned eight of his 11 free-throw attempts.
Terry was one of four players to reach double figures for the Railsplitters. Dorian Pinson scored 17 points with six rebounds and four assists in his first game back after missing the second half of the 2016-17 campaign with a broken foot. Cornelius Taylor contributed 14 points on a 3-of-6 effort from three.
Deshawn Patterson poured in 10 points to go along with a team-high five assists in 27 minutes off the bench. Josh Odem also had a nice debut for Lincoln Memorial with eight points and four boards.
The Railsplitters had little trouble scoring against the two-time NCAA Division I national championship runners-up, shooting 52 percent in the game, including a 15-for-26 effort (57.7 percent) in the second half. Lincoln Memorial also knocked down 10 threes on a 40 percent clip.
As solid as Lincoln Memorial was offensively, it was a struggle on the other end, as the Bulldogs shot 56 percent and outscored the Railsplitters by 12 points in the paint. In addition to that, Butler scored 15 points off of 15 Lincoln Memorial turnovers.
“They were probably a little more explosive offensively than we thought, but we knew that Butler is Butler and they are going to be great defensively, they are going to be sound and are not going to beat themselves, ” LMU head coach Josh Schertz said. “We knew going in that we were going to have our hands full.
“We had some breakdowns. Basketball is a game of mistakes and we made our fair share. Every time we got it close it seemed like they would make a play or we would have a breakdown one of the two and they would be able to extend that lead and stabilize themselves. We weren’t able to get it to one possession at any point to put game pressure on them.”
Four players finished with double-digit points for the Bulldogs, led by Kelan Martin’s 19 points, 11 of which came on a perfect 11-for-11 mark at the free-throw line. Other than that, the Railsplitters forced the preseason All-Big East first team selection to 4-for-12 shooting.
Kamar Baldwin added 17 points and four assists, Nate Fowler had 11 points in 18 minutes off the bench and Tyler Wideman chipped in 10 points with six boards. Sean McDermott scored nine points on a 3-of-4 mark from three-point range.
A jumper by Baldwin gave the Bulldogs an 11-7 lead early the first half, but the Railsplitters answered with a bucket from Pinson and a three from Trevon Shaw, who finished with just five points in the game, to take a 12-11 lead with 15 minutes left in the frame. Butler responded with a 13-4 run that was capped by a triple from Fowler to take a 24-16 lead with 9:54 to go.
The Railsplitters would whittle the lead to as little as five until a three from Paul Jorgensen gave the Bulldogs’ their largest lead of the half at 31-22 with 8:11 left. From there, Lincoln Memorial was unable to make it a one-possession game and went into the half trailing 41-34 following a late bucket from Baldwin.
Butler started fast in the second half and pushed its lead to 49-38 on a Baldwin free throw. But Lincoln Memorial clapped right back with three-pointers from Patterson and Odem to close the gap to 49-44 with 16:29 left in regulation.
The Railsplitters couldn’t get it any closer than that over the next passage of play, and the Bulldogs used another flurry to extend their lead to 64-51 – their largest of the game – on a putback dunk by Wideman with 10:25 left.
Lincoln Memorial continued to fight in the face of that 13-point deficit, using a late 6-0 run to make it a 74-70 game with just over four minutes left. However, the Railsplitters were never able to get it any closer than that as the Bulldogs strung together some defensive stops and reasserted a nine-point lead at 80-71 with less than 90 seconds left. Lincoln Memorial never trailed by less than six points for the remainder of the game.
Though the Railsplitters ultimately head back to Harrogate with a loss, they head into the 2017-18 season knowing that they took a Butler team that went to the Sweet 16 last season to the wire despite not putting together a complete performance and showed tremendous resolve in the face of a spirited, near-capacity Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd of over 7,600.
“This place is very special in general,” Schertz said. “It’s obviously one of the historic venues in all of sports. It was an honor and a privilege for us to come up here and play.”
The Railsplitters officially kick off the 2017-18 season on Friday with a trip to Banner Elk, North Carolina to face the Lees-McRae Bobcats. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.