Raleigh, NC - Four players scored in double figures as the Lincoln University men's basketball team rallied from a double digit second half deficit to defeat St. Augustine's University, 70-67 Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Lions improve to 4-11 overall and 3-3 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) games. The Falcons, who were in first place in the CIAA South, fall to 9-8 overall, 3-3 in league play.
Joshua Davis (Saginaw, MI/Louisburg Junior College) led all scorers with 20 points (7-12 FG, 6-8 FT). Sean James (Newark, Del./Iona College) added 15 points (5-12 FG, 4-9 3 FG) while Khayyir Laws (Chester, Pa./Delaware County Community College) chipped in 14 with a team high three assists. Tracey Nelson (Waldorf, Md./Maryland Eastern Shore) added 10 points. Davis also led all players with nine rebounds and Laws had a team high three assists.
The Falcons put three players in double figures led by Kenneth Collins' 19 points. Anthony Gaskins and Quincy January added 12 and 10 points respectively. Gaskins led the team with nine rebounds and three assists.
Lincoln trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half before the team rallied to pull out the win, their second in three straight road games. Leading by six at the half, the Falcons opened the second half with a 19-11 run to build their lead to 14, 52-38 with 13:55 remaining. Two layups by Carl Lane (Easthampton, N.J/Southeastern Community College) and a 3-ball from James cut the lead in half, 52-45 in just 90 seconds. The Falcons followed with a 6-3 mini-run to go back up by double digits 58-48 with 9:16 remaining.
James then triggered the Lions final push, hitting a pair of three pointers to close the gap to four 58-54 with 8:11 left. After the teams exchanged free throws, Collins drove for a layup to extend SAU's lead to seven 62-55 with 7:00 left. Nelson's 3-ball moments later again cut the deficit to four. And after a pair of free throws from Gaskins, Nelson and Davis connected on back-to-back scores to make the score 64-62 with 4:54 left. Another free throw by Gaskins followed by a layup from Laws made it a one-point game 65-64 with 3:44 left, prompting a timeout by the Falcons.
Coming out of the timeout, the Falcons turned the ball over and on their next possession, Nelson was fouled. He made both free throws, giving the Lions their first lead of the game at 66-65 with 2:23 left. Two more missed free throws from the Falcons gave the Lions a chance to extend their lead and Laws came through with a driving layup to increase their lead to three 68-65. Gaskins added two more free throws to pull the Falcons within one. The Lions were unable to score on their next possession but forced a turnover to regain control of the ball with under a minute to go. Davis again came through with a layup as the shot clock was winding down, making the score 70-67 with 19 seconds left. The Falcons had a chance to tie but both shot attempts would not fall and the Lions had their biggest win of the season to date.
Solid second half shooting and strong defense fueled the second half comeback. The Lions shot 55.6% from the field in the final period, making 12 of 27 shots. Eight of Lincoln's 12 field goals were three-point baskets (8-17). The Lions finished the game shooting 43.4% (23-53) while the Falcons shot 42.1% (24-57). The Lions had a slight 37-35 advantage on the glass and outscored SAU 16-10 in the second chance points category.
The Lions return to action on Saturday when they travel to play north division rival Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m.