JEFFERSON CITY, TN -- The no.12 Railsplitters struggled mightily on the offensive end and the Eagles shot 49 percent from the field en route to a 77-69 loss for Lincoln Memorial at Carson-Newman College on Wednesday evening. The win gives the Eagles the season sweep over the Railsplitters. With their second consecutive loss, LMU drops to 13-4 in the South Atlantic Conference and 23-4 overall. Carson-Newman moves to 15-12 on the season and 8-9 in the SAC.
The Eagles were led by Ishmael Sanders' game-high 29 points on 10-19 shooting from the field. Corbin Jackson added 13 points on an effective 6-7 shooting in the contest. Jared Johnson notched 12 points off the bench to round out the double-digit scoring for the Eagles.
Four different players finished in double-figures for Lincoln Memorial in the game, led by Brandon Armstrong's 16 points with four rebounds and four assists. Wally Jones scored 13 points in 29 minutes of action. Desmond Johnson snagged a double-double with 12 points and ten rebounds. Cam Carden added 12 points off the bench.
In this rare instance, the Railsplitters were outrebounded by a margin of 39-34. Carson-Newman won the battle in the paint as they outscored the Railsplitters 38-22 in that region.
The first half started slowly for both teams as they played to a 6-6 with six minutes of game time elapsed. With 10:23 left in the first stanza, the Railsplitters took their largest lead at 12-4 with a couple of free throws from Jake Troyli.
The Eagles pushed the score back to a tie at 14-14 by the seven minute mark but the Railsplitters answered with a Wally Jones' trey in the next possession. The half saw five more ties leading up to the final tie at 25-25 with just under a minute on the board. Ishmael Sanders drained a three in the Eagles' final possession of the half to send LMU to the break trailing 28-25.
The Railsplitters finished the first half shooting 24 percent from the field.
The Railsplitters opened the second half by quickly regaining the lead at 31-28 on six straight points from Wally Jones. A 4-0 run from the Eagles, capped by Sanders' jumper, put Carson-Newman on top 32-31. They would never trail for the remainder of the game.
With 13:06 left to play, the Eagles held their largest lead of the game at 51-40. Six minutes later, the Railsplitters capped a 12-5 scoring rally with Vincent Bailey layup to cut the deficit to four. Antoine Davis answered with five consecutive points to reassert a nine point advantage for the Eagles.
The Railsplitters' final push came in the way of a 10-4 run, led by Brandon Armstrong's eight points in that rally, to cut the score to 65-62 with 2:35 remaining.
The run would fall short as Ishmael Sanders answered every push made by the Railsplitters. Sanders scored 11 of his 29 points in the final three minutes of the contest. His four free throws in the final minute essentially put the game out of reach for LMU, as they came up short in the game and dropped to the Eagles 77-69.
Lincoln Memorial University will be back in action on Saturday, February 25th, as they travel to Lenoir-Rhyne University to take on the Bears in South Atlantic Conference play. That game is set to tip at 4 p.m. in Hickory, North Carolina.