But the Braves hung
around, cutting what had been a 22-point lead to 10 points midway
through the second half.
But, rather than break down and surrender their remaining lead,
the Lynx pushed the pedal to the metal in the final minutes,
delivering an emphatic 92-63 victory.
LC ended the game on a 22-3 run that featured an impressive
combination of 3-point shooting, post play and one especially
Freshman point guard Kendall Wesley, who got the Lynx started by
scoring their first seven points of the game, said it was a
statement game after a frustrating 3-point loss to Southeastern
Illinois Community College this past Saturday.
"We wanted to send a message that we're Lincoln College and we're
ready to play," said Wesley. "We're a fast-paced team. We like to
knock down shots, play some defense and just work hard."
The Lynx were able to the play at the kind of pace that coach Pat
Lepper believes will give them the best chance to be successful.
Ideally, LC's up-tempo attack -- with full-court man-to-man
defense and plenty of fast-break opportunities -- will result in
more runs like the one they used to finish Wednesday's victory.
The highlight of the game-ending run occurred when Aaron Simpson
corralled a deflection from JoVaughn Gaines. Simpson pushed the ball
down the floor and found an open Chris Davis, who went up for a
tomahawk jam that brought the fans to their feet and gave the Lynx a
"With our man-to-man full-court press, we try to pick our moments
when we run and jump," said Lepper. "That point in time, I think
JoVaughn Gaines trapped, got a deflection, and we got Chris Davis in
the open floor.
"I think that really kind of energized our guys a little bit. We
talk about momentum plays on this team. We talk about taking charges
and making plays in transition. That was definitely a good, solid
play in transition."
Another key to Wednesday's game was LC's unselfish,
share-the-wealth mentality. The Lynx finished the game with 25
assists against 15 turnovers.
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Lepper praised his team for making more of an effort to find an
"We've talked about that," said Lepper. "The last game against
Southeastern Illinois on the road, I think we only had five assists.
We made an emphasis on sharing the ball. It's more fun to play on a
team that will make the extra pass. Tonight, the guys did that.
"Aaron Simpson -- I have to commend him -- he had seven assists
and no turnovers. We want to see more of that from him."
Simpson led the Lynx in scoring with 20 points on 8-of-13
shooting. An explosive scorer at the high school level, Simpson, a
freshman, is averaging 20.6 points per game over LC's first five
Following Simpson in the scoring column was Gaines, also a
freshman, who finished with 14 points but also added seven assists,
three blocked shots and four steals. Freshman Andrew Jordan also
contributed 14 points for the Lynx, while sophomore Sam James and
Wesley each had 10 points. Sophomore Courtney Jones added nine
points and nine rebounds for LC.
Lepper is hopeful that Wednesday's win will be a liftoff point
for his team heading into this weekend's Lynx Classic, sponsored by
Guzzardo's Italian Villa. The Lynx will play against Millikin
University's junior varsity team on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and will
play a rematch with Southeastern Illinois Community College on
Saturday at 1 p.m.
"I think we can learn a lot of good things from this game, but
there are still things we can get better at," said Lepper. "We're
excited about this weekend. Hosting the Guzzardo's Classic should be
good for us."
[By JUSTIN TIERNEY]
Lincoln College men's basketball