Railsplitters use big second half to blow past host Coker, 92-61
HARTSVILLE, S.C. — For the sixth time this season, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team earned a 30-point victory, doing so Saturday at South Atlantic Conference adversary Coker for its eighth consecutive win. The Railsplitters (8-1, 3-0 SAC) completed a 3-0 league road swing by defeating the Cobras (2-4, 1-1 SAC) 92-61 inside the DeLoach Center in Hartsville, S.C., improving to 13-0 all-time against Coker.
LMU outpaced the host Cobras 48-19 in the second half and limited Coker to just 28 points across the final 27:55 of play. Outscoring the Cobras by a sizable margin in the paint, 40-10, the Railsplitters owned a 20-8 advantage in fast break points and out-rebounded Coker by 14 (44-30).
Similar to Tuesday night’s start at Carson-Newman, LMU had to overcome a first-half deficit and trailed by as many as eight with just under eight minutes to go before the half.
Senior guard Anthony Brown lit up the scoreboard in one of his finest performances as a Railsplitter. The 6-foot-1 Clermont, Fla. native tied his career high and led all scorers with 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out four assists and made a season-best three steals. Anthony Brown’s 10 made field goals were a career best.
Despite scoring the first four points of the game and going up 7-3 on a 3-pointer from redshirt junior guard Devin Whitfield, LMU found itself trailing after six and a half minutes of action. A layup by sophomore guard Courvoisier McCauley put the Railsplitters ahead 11-7 before the Cobras went on a 7-2 run over the next 2:30 to take a 14-13 advantage.
A pair of free throws from redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Henry put the Railsplitters in front 20-18 with 10:12 remaining in the half, but Coker would outscore LMU 15-5 over the next 2:17 of play to take a 33-25 lead at the 7:55 mark. From there, the Railsplitters locked down on defense and closed out the final eight minutes of the first half on a 19-9 run.
After the Cobras’ KJ Harris made a layup to put Coker in front 42-39 with two minutes to go before the break, LMU held the hosts scoreless until the 16:55 mark of the second half. Another Whitfield trey tied things at 42-all and redshirt senior guard/forward Kamaran Calhoun hit a layup to give the Railsplitters a two-point lead going into the locker room.
LMU shot 46.9 percent (15-of-32) in the opening half and was 3-of-12 (33.3%) from long range but went 10-for-12 (83.3%) at the free throw line.
Both teams struggled offensively in the early going of the second half with only an Anthony Brown layup and a pair of free throws from Whitfield and the Cobras’ Royce Hunter providing points in the first four and a half minutes.
After the Railsplitters pulled ahead by six (52-46), Coker trimmed the lead to three on a conventional three-point play by the Cobras’ Noel Pinnock with 13:35 showing. A 3-pointer from Coker’s Sparky Fabre made it two-point game at 56-54, but LMU would score a quick 10 points in 2:07 thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from junior guard Alex Dahling and an emphatic Anthony Brown dunk.
A third Dahling trey put the Railsplitters up by 15 at 69-54 with 9:21 to go. Outscoring the Cobras 26-7 over the final 10:20 of play, LMU took a 17-point lead at 76-59 with 6:16 remaining when McCauley connected from beyond the arc.
An Anthony Brown jumper in the paint kept the Railsplitters in front by 17 at 78-61, and LMU held the home team scoreless for the last 5:57. Ending the game on a 14-0 run, freshman guard Jeremiah Keene scored the Railsplitters’ final six points with a pair of 3-pointers.
LMU shot 48.6 percent (18-of-37) in the second 20 minutes of action, connecting on six of its 15 3-pointers and committing only one second-half turnover. All told, the Railsplitters shot 47.8 percent (33-of-69) for the contest, went 10-for-27 (37%) from deep and were 16-of-21 (76.2%) at the foul line.
In addition to Anthony Brown’s 22, four other LMU players reached double figures with Whitfield and Henry notching 14 points apiece on 8-for-15 combined shooting. Dahling scored 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting, while McCauley reached 13 points and grabbed eight boards. Henry also had eight rebounds and distributed five assists as Whitfield pulled down six rebounds.
Coker was led by Pinnock, who tallied a team-high 12 points and seven boards. The Cobras’ Hunter scored 10 with four rebounds and three assists and Williams Onyeodi contributed six points and five rebounds. Chandler Lindsey finished with eight points.
The Railsplitters had a week off from game action before they return to the friendly confines of Tex Turner Arena on Saturday for what will most likely be a top-25 matchup with top-15 ranked Queens. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. with the game being featured as LMU’s white out.
Fans who wear white will receive free admission to both the Railsplitters and Lady Railsplitters’ games against the Royals. The women’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Presented by Edward Jones Investments – Marc Trantham, 400 complementary tickets for the doubleheader will also be available next week by visiting the LMU athletics on the first floor of Tex Turner Arena.