No. 4 LMU overwhelms Bluefield
Published 10:00 am Friday, December 8, 2017
HARROGATE, Tenn. — The No. 4 Railsplitters (8-0) matched the second-highest three-point output in program history while the bench contributed 47 points to power a 108-61 blowout win over the Bluefield College Rams (6-3) on Wednesday night at Tex Turner Arena.
On a night where Lincoln Memorial was without star center Emanuel Terry, the Railsplitters rode a monster effort from the perimeter and the bench to a 47-point win. LMU cashed in a season-high 18 3-pointers on 38 attempts, while the team’s second unit accounted for nearly half of the Railsplitters’ point total.
“I thought we did a really good job. It’s been kind of a funky week with finals and we gave the guys Sunday and Monday off after Saturday’s game,” LMU head coach Josh Schertz said. “We practiced yesterday and walked into shoot around to find out that Emanuel would be out tonight.
“Given all of those circumstances, the guys really played well. We were pretty engaged defensively, moved the ball and took pretty good care of it. I’m really pleased with our guys. With all the external stuff going on it’s easy to come in and lay an egg, but our guys played really hard from tip to buzzer.”
The Railsplitters recorded their third and fourth 50-point halves of the season, shot 57 percent from the field, including that sizzling 47 percent clip from three-point territory, and held the visiting Rams to a dreadful 30 percent shooting.
Lincoln Memorial also outrebounded Bluefield 45-36 and handed out a season-high 25 assists while turning it over just seven times.
Starting in place of the injured Terry, Kamaran Calhoun piled up a game-high 17 points – one shy of a career-high mark – on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Josh Odem scored a season-high 15 points, hit three 3-pointers and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while Dorian Pinson produced 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Cornelius Taylor pitched in 11 points and three assists.
The Railsplitters’ bench stole the show in the second half and ended the game with 47 points. Freshman TJ Harvin led that outfit with a career-high 15 points on a 5-for-11 mark from three-point territory, while Deshawn Patterson and Steven Perriere added nine points apiece. Rhondi Hackett chipped in seven points and six boards.
With nobody in the starting lineup playing more than 24 minutes, the overwhelming lead provided an opportunity for the Railsplitters to let their young and developing bench play extended minutes.
“As young as we are it’s imperative that we get those guys opportunities,” Schertz said. “They have to be able to play through mistakes and play through some rough patches and you can’t do that in games that are in the balance. It’s really good for the young guys to get experience. I thought the bench did a really good job.”
The Railsplitters never trailed and held the outright lead for all but 21 seconds. Bluefield was hanging tough throughout much of the first half, though, and cut Lincoln Memorial’s lead to 35-22 on a 3-pointer from Ty’quon Reid with 4:56 left in the half.
However, the Rams wouldn’t score again for the remainder of the half, while the Railsplitters ended on an 18-0 run to take a 31-point lead into the break. Perriere scored the first four points of that run, while 3-pointers in the final minute from Patterson, Trevon Shaw and Odem ended it to send Lincoln Memorial into the locker room with a 53-22 lead.
It took less than five minutes for the Railsplitters to extend the lead to 40 points in the second half on a pair of free throws from Odem at the 15:19 mark. Lincoln Memorial’s lead would never dip below 40 points from that point on, while it would reach as high as 53 points in the landslide victory.
Gage Yesbeck was the only Bluefield player to finish in double figures with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Dewan Perry and Reid added seven points apiece as the Rams saw their two-game winning streak end.
The Railsplitters return to South Atlantic Conference action on Monday when they begin a stretch that will see them play four games over an eight-day period as Lincoln Memorial welcomes Mars Hill to town for an 8 p.m. tip off. Live stats and video links are available at www.lmurailsplitters.com.