Statesmen Slip by Lincoln in Tough Road Test

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

by Wade Steinlage

Lincoln, Ill.–The William Penn men’s basketball team committed numerous turnovers, but fortunately shot at an extremely high clip as it rallied to defeat Lincoln 74-73 in non-conference action Wednesday.

#2 WPU (2-0) took down the Lynx (1-1) by outshooting the home team 62.2%-46.3%. The contest was a battle from start to finish, however, as the visitors struggled to hold onto the ball with 27 turnovers.

Lincoln, which is in its first year as a four-year institution and as an NAIA program, was a strong program in the NJCAA ranks and was coming off an 82-73 win over Saint Xavier earlier this week. The Lynx rolled early, leading by as many as nine points midway through the first half.

In a contest that featured six ties and nine lead changes, WPU trimmed the deficit to seven (39-32) by halftime.

The Statesmen continued to make up ground in the latter period and eventually took the lead. The contest went back and forth down the stretch, and inside the final two minutes, the navy and gold trailed 69-66, but scored four straight to go up 70-69 with 27 ticks remaining.

Lincoln regained the advantage on its next trip down, but the visitors got back on top for good as Abrian Edwards (Austin, Texas) found a cutting Omar Sherman (Sr., Duncanville, Texas) for a dunk. Sherman topped his team with 19 points on 9-for-13 shooting, while Edwards, who scored 11 points, tied for a game high with eight assists.

William Penn’s defense then came up with the first of two huge stops, forcing LC to foul the Statesmen. Darius Wheeler (Sr., Jonesboro, Ga., Sports Administration) went against the team’s trend (WPU just 11-for-23 at the line) by knocking down both free throws to extend the advantage to three at 74-71 with only five seconds remaining. Wheeler finished the night with four points.

Lincoln launched a last-second three-pointer that went off-line; the ball was rebounded by the hosts and they made a meaningless two-point bucket as time expired.

The Statesmen, who were 7-for-16 from behind the arc, also dominated the boards with a 36-22 advantage. Sherman completed a double-double by pacing all players with 12 boards.

Marlon Alcindor (Sr., Queens, N.Y.) and Demarius Cager (Fr., Hopkinsville, Ky.) were also in double figures with 10 points each, while TaJuan Johnson (Jr., Chicago, Ill.) added nine points and Eddie Daley (So., DeWitt, Mich., Sports Management) produced eight more.

“We played poorly, but found a way to win,” Head Coach John Henry said. “It was a loud and wild environment, so we are thrilled with simply escaping with the victory. Darius Wheeler was amazing tonight, especially on defense and by making those two clutch free throws at the end.”

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Saturday to host Emmaus Bible in non-conference action at 4 p.m.

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Posted by on Nov 2 2018. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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