Monday, February 11, 2013
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Lynx ride Simpson's 25 points past ICC; Lady Lynx win thriller in OT

By Justin Tierney

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[February 11, 2013]  In their previous meeting against Mid-West Athletic Conference rival Illinois Central College, the Lincoln College men's basketball team lost 86-80.

What a difference Aaron Simpson makes.

Absent from the first meeting this season, Simpson returned to lead the Lynx to a 68-59 victory over the Cougars on Saturday afternoon at Jack Nutt Arena.

The freshman scoring expert was up to his old tricks, going for 25 points en route to the Lynx victory. Simpson scored in a variety of ways: a trio of 3-pointers, off the dribble, on the break and at the free-throw line.

"We're always looking to get Aaron more shots because he's the type of guy who can catch fire," said Lincoln College coach Pat Lepper. "Tonight, he made some. Obviously his percentage wasn't great (shooting 6 for 18 from the field), but to go 10 for 12 from the free-throw line was good. He hit a couple of especially big shots for us. It was great to have him back."

Aside from Simpson's offensive output, the Lynx also benefited from a swarming defense that forced ICC into 28 turnovers. Many of those were pickpockets by Lincoln College defenders, who combined for 19 steals in all.

"Defensively, we were there on their catches for the most part," said Lepper. "In the first half, we took care of the ball really well. In the second half, we had too many turnovers and I'm not too happy about that. But you have to give our defense credit for the way we played on that end tonight."

The Lynx had control of a decent-sized lead for most of the game. Lincoln College led 30-25 at halftime and led by as much as 62-46 with 3 minutes to play in the second half.

But the Cougars didn't go away without a fight, choosing to foul the Lynx in an effort to mount an improbable comeback. The physical fouls caused tensions to rise between both teams, and Lincoln College guard Kendall Wesley was ejected after receiving two technical fouls in response to a hard foul by Cougar guard Patrice Sanders. Sanders was also whistled for a technical foul in the incident.

Wesley is now suspended for the next game as the result of the ejection.

"The physicality of the game, and the emotional aspect of it, we just try to teach our guys to compete in those uncomfortable situations and keep their composure," said Lepper. "At times we did. Towards the end of the game though, a couple of our guys got sloppy and made some bad decisions. Now we'll have to adjust because of that."

Aside from Simpson's 25 points, the Lynx also got 15 points and six rebounds from JoVaughn Gaines, while Courtney Jones added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Wesley had five points, seven assists and four steals for Lincoln College.

With the win, the Lynx improved to 17-9 on the season.

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Lady Lynx survive in OT thriller

The Lady Lynx squeaked past Lewis and Clark Community College in overtime, 68-65, in a seesaw battle that was tight throughout, with 14 lead changes and 20 ties between the two teams.

The game was tied at 27 at halftime. The largest lead of the game was seven points, when Lewis and Clark led 17-10 in the first half.

Free throws in the final minute of overtime by Lincoln College sophomore forward Ally Friday put the game on ice, with her free throws pushing the Lynx to a two-possession 67-62 lead.

The game was extremely physical, with 44 fouls called between the two teams. Lady Lynx coach Carol Wilson thought her team competed well in the physical atmosphere, even when the officiating was at times inconsistent in her eyes.

"I thought it was really two different games," said Wilson. "In the first half, the officials were pretty quick on the whistle. In the second half, they let us play a little bit more. I thought that hurt us a little bit because we got bumped around some."

After some questionable offensive decisions in the second half, Wilson felt her team was able to prevail because of sound decision-making in overtime, including getting the ball to Friday to draw fouls on big possessions in overtime.

"We rushed some shots the second half and didn't make them defend us and didn't do a good job getting to the free-throw line," said Wilson. "But I thought overall, too, we did a good job of understanding the game down the stretch and managed the clock better."

Friday led the Lady Lynx with 18 points and nine rebounds. Shannon Hall added 10 points for Lincoln College, with Cassidy Jennings adding eight points. Taylor Buliox had five points and 12 rebounds for the Lynx as well.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Lady Lynx, who are now 12-12 on the season.

"We needed a win," said Wilson. "Hopefully now we can get over the hump a little bit with Monmouth and Lincoln Land in the next week. We need to move up in the standings."


Lincoln College men's basketball

Lincoln College women's basketball

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