No. 4 LMU earns road win
Published 1:00 pm Monday, December 18, 2017
NEWBERRY, S.C. — The No. 4 Railsplitters (11-0, 5-0 SAC) built a big first-half lead and held on despite a furious comeback from Newberry (7-5, 2-3 SAC) in a hard-fought 98-94 victory on Saturday afternoon at Eleazer Arena.
Trevon Shaw set a new career high with 36 points and hit 10 3-pointers for the third time on the season, but his most critical points came on a pair of free throws with 44 seconds left to break a 94-94 tie and put the Railsplitters up for good.
The senior from St. Helena Island, South Carolina hit 12-of-23 field goals, including 10-for-18 from beyond the arc. Eight of those threes and 28 points came in the first half.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys for the toughness and fight they showed against an excellent Newberry team,” LMU head coach Josh Schertz said. “Newberry under any circumstance is an incredibly difficult game. Us being as short-handed as we are and playing our third game in five nights made it even more grueling than usual.”
Lincoln Memorial improved to 11-0 for the fourth time since the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign but allowed a season-high 94 points to the Wolves. Newberry shot just 34.5 percent overall, including a 14-for-45 (31.1 percent) from three-point range, but made 20 of 24 free throw attempts (83.3 percent).
The Railsplitters shot 50.7 percent and made 15 3-pointers but struggled from the line by making just 11 of 21 attempts. However, the team made its last four attempts-all in the final minute-to seal the victory.
“There are a litany of things I could critique, but the biggest thing I walk away with is the mental toughness we showed to get the job done,” Schertz said.
Three players combined for 70 of the Railsplitters’ 98 points. Shaw led all players with 36 points, while Emmanuel Terry and Josh Odem notched double-doubles. Terry scored 21 on 9-of-12 shooting, with 15 of those points coming in the second half. He also grabbed 13 rebounds and made a game-saving block with 34 seconds left. Odem was the only other Railsplitter to reach double figures in points with 13 and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds.
Dorian Pinson was held to a season-low seven points but grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out seven assists. Cornelius Taylor was also held to seven points but tied a career high with seven assists.
The Railsplitters started the game on an 8-0 run and added a pair of 9-0 runs to build a 33-13 lead less than 10 minutes in. Newberry immediately responded with a 7-0 run and closed the half on a 9-1 run to head into half with the score 54-44. Newberry’s 44 points were the most allowed in a first half by LMU this season.
Lincoln Memorial started the second half hot with an 11-2 run to build a 65-46 lead with Terry scoring all 11 points on the run. The Wolves again responded and cut the score to 68-58 with a 9-0 run. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Quaman Burton cut the score to 73-68 with 10:05 left.
A Rob Valentine jumper cut the margin to two at 78-76 with 7:26 remaining. After a pair of Pinson free throws put LMU back up 91-84 with 3:02 left, the Wolves went on an 8-1 run to tie the score at 92 with 1:34 remaining.
The teams found themselves tied at 94 following a Taylor jumper and pair of Marshall Lange free throws. Shaw connected on the go-ahead free throws with 44 seconds remaining, and Terry blocked the ensuing James Stepp attempt. Deshawn Patterson put the game away with two free throws with 24 seconds left.
“It was good for us to have game pressure,” Schertz said. “I thought we played our best at the most critical points of the game, and that included a lot of different guys making plays on both ends of the floor.”
Valentine led the Wolves with 21 points, with 14 of those coming in the second half. Burton and Stepp added 17 apiece. All 17 of Burton’s came in the second half, while 14 of Stepp’s occurred in the first half.
Lincoln Memorial never trailed in the game and led for all but 46 seconds. However, the Railsplitters had to burden their top players with heavy workloads, as four starters racked up over 30 minutes. The team will have to regroup quickly in preparation for Tuesday’s matchup against No. 1 nationally-ranked Northwest Missouri State, which will be the Railsplitters’ fourth game in eight days.
Lincoln Memorial travels to Owensboro, Kentucky on Tuesday to face No. 1 nationally-ranked and defending national champion Northwest Missouri State in a rematch from last year’s Final Four.