No. 4 LMU dominates second half in 106-75 rout of UVa-Wise

Published 11:03 am Monday, November 27, 2017

HARROGATE, Tenn. — The No. 4 Railsplitters (5-0) outscored the visiting Virginia-Wise Cavaliers (3-4) by 32 points over the final 18 minutes to power a 106-75 victory and start 5-0 for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign on Saturday afternoon at Tex Turner Arena.

After sleepwalking through most of the first half and the early stages of the second, Lincoln Memorial found itself facing a 45-44 deficit with just over 18 minutes to play before closing out the Cavaliers with a 62-30 finishing run to pick up the fifth consecutive win by at least 20 points to open the 2017-18 season.

Emanuel Terry and Dorian Pinson led the Railsplitters, who finished shooting 59 percent as a team and went 12-for-26 from three-point territory for a 46 percent mark. Terry scored 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and went 7-for-10 from the field. Pinson secured his second double-double of the season with 20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

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The entire starting five scored double figures for the Railsplitters, as Trevon Shaw scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, Cornelius Taylor added 12 points and a team-high five assists, and Josh Odem tallied a season-high 10 points.

The Railsplitters scored 62 points in the second half alone and shot 65 percent from the field. That included a sizzling 9-for-17 effort from three.

Lincoln Memorial overcame a magnificent performance from Virginia-Wise’s Taiwo Badmus, who racked up a game-high 32 points on 10-for-15 shooting to go with a team-leading nine rebounds. Michal Seals also reached double figures with 17 points and three assists.

“We obviously had stretches of good play and bad. I didn’t think we were very focused coming out of the gates. You could just tell we weren’t focused or concentrating,” LMU head coach Josh Schertz said. “You have to give them credit, too. Taiwo Badmus was incredible, particularly in the first half. He was the best player on the floor by a wide margin. He made difficult shots and was really hard for us to guard.

“We tried various guys on him and obviously the job Cornelius Taylor did on him in the second half was incredible. He really battled his brains out on him in the second half which is a big reason the game turned.”

Badmus scored 21 of his 34 points in the first half.

Lincoln Memorial and Virginia-Wise went back and forth early in the game until the Cavaliers scored seven unanswered points to take a 28-20 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. The Railsplitters controlled the next stretch after staring up at that eight-point deficit, using a 15-2 run to take a 35-30 lead on a bucket by Shaw at the 5:41 mark. Virginia-Wise stayed within striking distance after that until a putback from Alex Dahling sent the Railsplitters into the break with a 44-38 advantage.

Virginia-Wise shot 48 percent in the first half and went 4-for-9 from three.

Three straight Lincoln Memorial turnovers led to a 7-0 run for the Cavaliers to open the second half, and the visitors grabbed a 45-44 lead on a jumper from Seals with 18:30 left on the clock.

That was as good as it would get for Virginia-Wise, though, as the Railsplitters scored eight unanswered points to reclaim the lead and spark their dominant closing run. Less than six minutes after trailing by one, Lincoln Memorial led 65-48 on a three ball from Deshawn Patterson.

The lead steadily grew from there and hit 21 points at the 8:30 mark on a jumper from Terry. Just over three minutes later, the Railsplitters pushed the lead to 29 on buckets from Pinson and Odem.

All told, Lincoln Memorial finished the game on a 62-30 run to move to 22-9 all-time against Virginia-Wise and beat the Cavaliers for the fifth consecutive time.

“The thing you always come back to with this group is when we feel threatened we have a tendency to really lock in and focus,” Schertz said. “And we know when we are locked in and executing we are really good. And we know that when we lose focus and discipline we are not, just like any other team.

“We have to make progress in terms of sustaining our focus and effort for longer stretches. We have got to increase our stamina. We’ll see if we are able to do that, but that’s something that we have to do. We can’t be so affected by the results that we don’t look at what we have to do to play better.”

Up Next

The Railsplitters open South Atlantic Conference play when they travel to Greeneville, Tennessee on Wednesday to face the Tusculum Pioneers. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.