Dan Carr/Assistant AD for Media Relations
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Lincoln men’s basketball team outscored Northeastern State, 20-7, over the final seven minutes of the game as the Blue Tigers beat the RiverHawks, 76-68, for their third-straight victory on Saturday (Jan. 14).
Sai Witt scored 19 points, all in the second half, and grabbed 10 rebounds to go with two blocks, a pair of steals and an assist. Artese Stapleton also had 19 points and dished seven assists to go with a block, two steals and two boards. Sam Rautins finished with 17 points and three rebounds while DJ Richardson also reached double figures, scoring 12 to go with four rebounds and three assists.
The lead changed 10 times and the contest was tied on six occasions, but Northeastern State (9-6, 6-5 MIAA), which led 41-38 at halftime, was on top for most of the second half. The RiverHawks led by six with 7:47 remaining, and had a 61-56 advantage entering the game’s final seven minutes. Back-to-back jumpers by Witt and Rautins, however, sprung the Blue Tigers onto an 8-0 run, and a pair of free throws from Witt made it a three-possession game inside the final minute.
Lincoln (10-4, 6-4 MIAA) shot .519 from the field and .429 from long range, draining nine treys in the process. Both teams had 27 rebounds, but Lincoln forced Northeastern State into 16 turnovers, resulting in 19 points for the Blue Tigers. NSU shot .667 in the first half, but LU tightened up defensively in the second, allowing the RiverHawks to shoot just .346. The Blue Tigers also shot .722 at the line, including going 9-for-11 in the game’s final three minutes.
Jamar Madge, Jr. had five points and two rebounds while Kevin Kone closed the scoring with four points and four boards.
The Blue Tigers will be on the road for their next three contests, starting on Thursday (Jan. 19) when Lincoln visits St. Joseph, Mo. to play Missouri Western at 7:30 p.m. CST.