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LWC Men's Basketball holds off Kentucky State 80-78

By Charlie Balcom

The No. 20-ranked Lindsey Wilson men's basketball team held off a late-surging Kentucky State squad, 80-78, on Tuesday night at Biggers Sports Center.

The Blue Raiders (5-0) held a 28-point lead with 11:35 to play, but had to hang on late and avoid a game-winning half court heave at the buzzer from the Thorobreds to secure the two-point victory.

Lindsey Wilson led 72-52 with 6:47 to play in the game, but the Thorobreds refused to quit, putting in a late charge to the tune of a 21-3 run to cut the Blue Raider lead all the way down to 75-73 with 2:09 to play.

The Blue Raiders then just made 3-of-7 free throws in the final two minutes to keep it a one possession game in the waning seconds. Kentucky State had one final shot at the buzzer but the half-court effort fell short as Lindsey Wilson escaped with the win.

Dmitry Utolin led the Blue Raiders with a season-high 23 points while Charles Sutton recorded his second double-double of the year with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Both teams traded baskets early, playing to a 10-10 tie with 13:47 to go in the opening half before Lindsey Wilson found a rhythm and began creating separation. The Blue Raiders caught fire and went on a 19-4 run over the next six minutes to take a 29-14 lead with 8:07 to go.

Through each team's first 24 shots from the floor, Lindsey Wilson made 14 attempts while Kentucky State made seven.

The Thorobreds cut the lead down to 12 at the 4:17 mark, but Kentucky State was unable to trim it to single digits as the Blue Raiders continued to hit shots from the floor, taking a 44-29 lead into the break.

Lindsey Wilson shot 64.3 percent from the floor in the half, while Kentucky State managed just a 34.4 percentage. The Thorobreds made just one of their nine attempts from beyond the arc.

Utolin racked up 15 points in the first 20 minutes of action to lead all scorers.

Lindsey Wilson outrebounded Kentucky State 20-14 in the opening half, including holding the Thorobreds to three offensive rebounds.

Lindsey Wilson continued the hot shooting early into the second half as a Marshall Griffith three pointer made it 66-38 with 11:35 to play. But that's when the Blue Raiders went cold and a three-minute dry spell by Lindsey Wilson saw Kentucky State score 10 straight to make it 66-48.

That run sparked life into the Thorobreds as Kentucky State continued to apply full court pressure and force Lindsey Wilson turnovers in the backcourt, eventually erasing that 28-point Blue Raider lead all the way down to two. Lindsey Wilson avoided the buzzer beater as time expired to win their fifth-straight game to start the 2016-17 season.

Lindsey Wilson finished the game shooting 51.7 percent from the field, compared to a 43.5 percentage for the Thorobreds.

This story was posted on 2016-11-09 15:43:15
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