HARROGATE, TN -- The Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team got all they could handle from the Tornado of King College on Saturday afternoon, as they held on to a 77-75 victory in Bristol, Tennessee. With the win, the third-ranked Railsplitters remain perfect on the season at 11-0.
The Tornado were led by Brian Hewitt's game-high 23 points. Eddie Piccinini notched 17 points and Brandon Goss added 14 to round out most of the scoring for King.
The Railsplitters were bolstered by a well-balanced offensive attack. Jake Troyli led the way with 17 points on 10-10 shooting from the charity stripe. Vincent Bailey poured in 13 points off the bench. Desmond Johnson (11), Justin Allen (11), and Cam Carden (10) rounded out the double-digit performances for LMU. Nine different players scored for the Railsplitters on the afternoon. Bailey and Allen led the way with nine boards apiece.
Justin Allen started the game quickly for the Railsplitters as he drained a three-point basket 30 seconds into the game to take a 3-0 lead. King College would move from there into the lead as Brian Hewitt scored seven straight points. During the next five minutes of play, the Railsplitters rallied off a 17-2 run to take a 20-9 lead with 12:46 remaining.
With 8:51 left in the half, Cam Carden knocked down a three-point bucket to put Lincoln Memorial on top 27-15. The next four minutes would see the Tornado roll off a 14-2 run to tie the game at 29-29. The two teams would play to a tie in the concluding minutes of the half as the game stood at 36-36 at the break.
The Railsplitters opened the second half by scoring the first five points to take a 41-36 lead. With 13:42 remaining, LMU extended that lead to 50-42 with a layup Vincent Bailey. Lincoln Memorial held fast to this lead as a jumper by Cam Carden moved the game to 67-59 in favor of the Railsplitter with 4:46 remaining.
In the closing minute of play, the victory came in question as a Brian Hewitt three-point basket cut the Railsplitter lead to 73-72 with 48 seconds remaining. Clutch free throw shooting provided the victory for LMU as Jake Troyli and Tony Martin went 4-4 from the line in the closing seconds. A late three-pointer by King cut the deficit but the Railsplitters would take a hard fought 77-75 victory.
The Railsplitters outrebounded the Tornado by a margin of 43-22 in the game.
Lincoln Memorial will look to remain perfect on the season as region power, Augusta State, travels to Harrogate, Tennessee to close out the first half of the season on December 19th. That game is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.