GREENEVILLE, TN -- The ninth-ranked, injury-plagued Railsplitters were able to weather the storm on Wednesday evening as they outlasted Tusculum College, winning a hard-fought contest 65-58 in Greeneville, Tennessee. With the win, Lincoln Memorial extends their record to 9-2 in South Atlantic Conference play and 19-2 overall. The Railsplitters remain within one of the South Atlantic Conference lead heading into the final stretch of regular season.
Kevin Vest led the Pioneers and all-scorers with 15 points on the night. Darius Carter added 11 points off the bench for Tusculum.
With three of their top nine scorers sitting the game out due to injury, every Railsplitter was called on to provide offense in the contest. Cam Carden led Lincoln Memorial with 14 points on 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Four other players notched double-digits in the game with Jake Troyli leading that group with 12 points off the bench. Desmond Johnson was tremendous with a huge 11 point, 14 rebound performance. Wally Jones and Chance Jones each poured in ten points to round out the balanced Railsplitter attack.
The Railsplitters limited Tusculum to 20 percent shooting from the three. LMU dominated the rebound battle, winning in that area by a margin of 40-22.
Cam Carden opened the contest by draining two consecutive threes as the Railsplitters shot out to a 15-4 lead in the opening minutes of play. LMU continued to dominate the first half of play with Chance Jones putting the Railsplitters on top 22-10 with a layup at 9:28 on the clock. The next five minutes saw Lincoln Memorial pound out a 9-3 run to grab an 18 point lead, which would be their biggest lead in the game.
A 7-0 run by the Pioneers cut the Railsplitter advantage to 31-20 with 4:35 left in the half. Darius Carter hit a jumper with 28 ticks left to put Tusculum back within striking distance at 38-30. Carter hit a three-pointer to end the half and cut the score to 40-33 in favor of the Railsplitters at the break.
LMU began the second half with a layup by Desmond Johnson followed by a three-pointer from Jake Troyli to take a 45-33 lead. With 14:48 to play, Nicholas Spinks capped an 8-0 run for the Pioneers with a jumper to make it a 45-41 game.
Tommy Klempin's three-point play with 10:17 left in the contest tied the game at 46-46. Klempin layed one in in the next Pioneer possession to give TC their first lead since the opening possesion. Jake Troyli calmly answered that with a jumper in the following possession to put the Railsplitters back on top.
The Railsplitters would never trail again in the game despite facing two more ties in the ensuing minutes. Chance Jones drained a three-pointer with 3:58 remaining to break the final tie and give LMU a 57-54 advantage. Cam Carden slammed home another three with two minutes left to put the Railsplitters on top 60-54. Jake Troyli hit two free throws with ten seconds left to ice a 65-58 victory for Lincoln Memorial.
LMU returns to Tex Turner Arena on Saturday, February 4th as they host Catawba College. That game is scheduled to tip at 8 p.m.