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LWC Basketball visits Life for Saturday doubleheader

By Matt Wurzburger

The Lindsey Wilson men's and women's basketball teams return to Mid-South Conference play this Saturday as they travel to the Eagles' Nest Gymnasium, 800 Huntington Rd, Marietta, GA, to take on Life University.

The No. 4-ranked Blue Raider women's team (21-0, 7-0 MSC) takes the court first at 1pmCT with the men's team to follow at 3pmCT.

The women's team played two non-conference games since its 84-78 road victory over No. 6-ranked Shawnee State (Ohio) on Saturday - defeating Fisk (Tenn.), 74-51, on Tuesday and Hiwassee (Tenn.), 97-68, on Thursday night.

Against Hiwassee Lindsey Wilson led wire-to-wire after sprinting out to a 29-13 first-quarter advantage.

Kayla Styles and Heidi Huffman scored 16 points each to lead the Blue Raiders.

As a whole, Lindsey Wilson struggled to find its shot against the Tigers - shooting just 44 percent from the field. The Blue Raiders overcame the cold shooting performance by locking down the glass and taking care of the ball - holding sizeable advantages in both the rebounding and turnover margin.

Lindsey Wilson grabbed 43 rebounds on Thursday, including 18 on the offensive glass. This season, the Blue Raiders rank 18th in NAIA Division I with 14.7 offensive rebounds per game.

The Lindsey Wilson defense goaded Hiwassee into 23 turnovers on Thursday, while the Blue Raiders turned the ball over only 10 times.

Life (5-18, 0-8 MSC) dropped its last game, falling to Cumberland (Tenn.), 65-46, on Thursday. The game was a slugfest, as neither team shot above 35 percent from the floor.

This season, the Running Eagles have struggled to score the basketball, averaging only 64.4 points per contest on 36.7 percent shooting - marks that rank second to last and last in the MSC, respectively.

Tierra Lindsey was the lone Running Eagle to break double digits - scoring 16 points. The freshman from Powder Springs, Ga. also collected a team-high nine rebounds. Lindsey snatched four offensive boards against the Phoenix and ranks ninth nationally in offensive rebounding at 4.1 per game.

The Blue Raiders are 2-1 all-time against the Running Eagles. Lindsey Wilson rolled past Life earlier this year, 101-62.

Chanel Roberts scored a game-high 21 points in that matchup and did not miss a shot, going 8-of-8 from the field, 2-of-2 from behind the arc and 3-of-3 at the free throw line.

The Lindsey Wilson men's team (16-7, 3-4 MSC) also took a break from conference play with a Tuesday contest against Fisk, which the Blue Raiders won 93-85 in overtime.

In that game, the Blue Raiders survived a barrage of three pointers by the Bulldogs to pull away in the extra period.

Fisk attempted 36 threes in regulation, making 14 of them, but with weary legs the Bulldogs missed all six attempts from deep in overtime.

Dmitry Utolin matched a career high in points with 27 on Tuesday. Charles Sutton also broke the 20-point mark, scoring 22 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists.

The Blue Raiders dominated the boards against Fisk, grabbing a season-high 55 missed shots in the game to the Bulldog's 33.

On the season, Lindsey Wilson averages 38.7 rebounds per game, which puts them 40th overall in DI.

Life (10-10, 6-2 MSC) suffered a setback on Thursday with a 71-68 home defeat to Cumberland.

The Running Eagles built an early hole with a 44-30 halftime deficit and could never recover despite a 38-27 second-half edge.

The long ball decided Thursday's contest as Cumberland shot 13-of-18 from behind the line while Life went 3-of-20.

However, Life did find success at the free throw line, earning 33 trips to the line and making 25 free throws.

Dalarian Williams singlehandedly reached the charity stripe 20 times on Thursday as part of a 35-point effort. The MSC's leading scorer, Williams averages over 20 points per game.

Life holds a 10-3 all-times series advantage over the Blue Raiders. Earlier this season, the Running Eagles defeated LWC at home in double overtime, 85-81.

Williams led his team in scoring with 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Three other Life starters scored 15 or more points in that game.

Lindsey Wilson shot nearly 10 percentage points better from the field than Life, but a season-high 24 turnovers doomed the Blue Raiders.

Live stats, video and audio are available for both games. The MSC doubleheader kicks off at 1pmCT.

This story was posted on 2017-01-27 12:39:24
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