HARROGATE — Top-seed Lincoln Memorial scored the first seven points of the contest and never looked back en route to an 82-53 win over No. 8 seed Tusculum in a quarterfinal match-up of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday night at Tex Turner Arena.
The 11th-ranked Railsplitters (23-4) advance to Saturday’s semifinal against fourth-seeded Carson-Newman at Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C. The Pioneers end their season at 6-21.
LMU’s Cam Carden led all scorers with 17 points while shooting 7-of-11 from the field. Jake Troyli added 16 points, while Vincent Bailey finished with a dozen points and eight rebounds. Dustin Craig came off the bench and added eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
TC’s Addison Flynn led the visitors with 11 points, shooting 5-of-11 from the field. Darius Carter finished with eight points, including 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. Nick and Neal Spinks also accounted for eight points apiece in the loss.
LMU used an 8-0 run midway through the first half and ended the opening period with a 10-2 spurt to take a 42-21 advantage into the locker room. The Railsplitters shot a blistering 62 percent in the first 20 minutes, going 18-of-29 from the floor, while holding Tusculum to 32 percent (9-of-28) in the first half.
Tusculum cut the deficit to 16 points (43-27) early in the second half, utilizing a 6-1 run in the opening minutes of the period, including a pair of baskets by Nick Spinks and two points by Keith Jumper, the SAC Freshman of the Year
But the Railsplitters responded with a 15-0 spurt over the next 2:27 to up their lead to 58-27 to take a strangle-hold in the game.
Tusculum trimmed the deficit to 60-40 with its 13-2 run, including four Carter free throws. But a Lorenza Ross three-point play and a Bailey jumper put the Railsplitters back out to a 25-point cushion with 8:27 remaining in the contest to put the game out of reach.
TC’s Matt Shown finished with six points and five rebounds, Jumper added four points and four boards, while JD Miller added three points and five rebounds. TC sophomore Martin Jorgensen recorded a three-point field goal late in the contest for his first collegiate points with the Pioneers.
LMU dominated play in the paint, outscoring the Pioneers by a 44-24 margin in that category. LMU also out-rebounded Tusculum 41-28 on the boards.