Lions hold on to Win CIAA Opener against Livingstone

Four players scored in double figures as the Lincoln University men's basketball team hung on to earn a 70-68 win over Livingstone college in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener Tuesday night at Manuel Rivero Hall.

The Lions improve to 2-7 overall and 1-0 in CIAA action.  The Blue Bears fall to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in league play.

Joshua Davis (Saginaw, Mich./Louisburg Junior College) led all scorers with 18 points and recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.  Davis connected on eight of 12 shots from the field and was 2-3 from the free throw line Jordan Watson (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) added 16 points.  Khayyir Laws (Chester, Pa./Delaware County Community College) and Sean James (Newark, Del./Iona College)came off the bench to score 14 and 10 points respectively.  Laws also led the team with three assists.

Livingstone also had four players in double figures with Desmond Standback leading the way with 14 points.  Roger Ray added 13 and Daryl bond 11.  Jimmy Wilson chipped in 10.  David Duncan led all players with 12 rebounds.  Ray led the Blue Bears with three assists.

Lincoln trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before closing out the first stanza with a 12-2 flourish to find themselves down by just three points at the break, 39-36.

The Lions added eight more points onto that 12-2 effort making it a 20-2 spurt over the two quarters as they took control of the game with a 47-39 lead just 3:06 into the final period.  The Blue Bears scored the next six points to close the deficit to two 47-45 but a triple from James and a layup- and-one from Davis pushed the lead back to eight 53-45. 
 Vernon Young's(Chicago, Ill./University of St. Mary)second three point field goal of the game gave the Lions their first double digit lead of the night at 61-50 and James Richardson (Jersey City, N.J./Raritan Valley Community College) provided a spark off the bench with four  of his six points to boost the Lions lead to 13, 65-52 before Livingstone made their final push.

After Richardson's layup and offsetting technical fouls on both sides, the Blue Bears went on a 9-1 spurt to close within five 66-61 with 3:54 remaining.  The Lions still led by five at 68-63 when Standback had a chance to pull the Blue Bears within two after making a layup and getting fouled with 1:12 left.  He missed the free throw however and the Lions had an opportunity to run some time off the clock while boosting the lead back to five, which they did after Laws grabbed an offensive rebound and later scored to give LU a 70-65 lead.  Wilson's triple with 16 seconds left made the score 70-68.  Davis was fouled but missed the front end of the one-and-one giving the Blue Bears a final chance.  Livingstone got two shots at the basket, both three point attempts in the final ten seconds but neither went in and the Lions hung on for the win.

The Lions finished the game shooting 43.1% (25-58) while Livingstone shot 38.1% (24-63).  Both teams made six three pointers and 14 free throws.  Livingstone had a 46-37 edge on the boards including a 20-11 margin on the offensive glass leading to a 14-8 advantage in the second-chance points category.  The lions committed five fewer turnovers (13-18) and had a 22-10 advantage in the points off turnovers category.

The Lions return to action on Thursday, December 15, 2016 when they host Winston-Salem State University at 7:30 p.m.