BEREA — For their second game in a row, Luke Hill and Jacob Conway combined for 37 points to lead Lincoln. And this time the outcome was a Patriot victory.
Hill, Conway and their Lincoln teammates ran into trouble at Southwestern Saturday night, falling 64-55, but the Patriots had righted themselves by Monday night as they defeated host Madison Southern 69-55.
Hill had a team-high 19 points off 8-for-11 shooting from the field, 3-for-5 at the foul line, and Conway followed with 18 points off 6-for-9 shooting from the field, 5-for-5 at the line. The duo also led Lincoln in a 22-21 rebounding win, with Conway grabbing eight boards and Hill getting seven.
Hill scored his first basket with 5:41 left in the first quarter to help Lincoln (12-14) rebound from a slow start. Tyler Abshear, who had a game-high 24 points, gave Madison Southern (14-9) the early lead by opening the game on a 5-0 run off a driving layup and a 3-pointer. After a Lincoln timeout, Hill drove straight to the basket to end the Patriots’ string of four missed field goals.
The Hill bucket ignited an 8-0 run, with BJ Hoover and Brandon Pittman nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to push Lincoln on top 8-5. Southern answered with its own run, outscoring Lincoln 6-2 to retake the lead. Spencer Stone pushed in two free throws and a shot inside and, after a Hill putback, Abshear added a bucket to make it 11-10.
The first quarter of runs ended just like it began, but with Lincoln and not Southern going on a 5-0 run. Conway scored his first bucket with 2:26 left in the period, Hill followed with a jumper and Timmy Taylor finished with a free throw toss to put Lincoln on top to stay 15-11.
Lincoln, which shot 57 percent from the field overall, going 25-for-44, made up for its poor start with a 7-for-10 effort in the second quarter. The Patriots were 7-for-13 from 3-point range for the night and they collected three of those treys in the second period to build on their lead.
After a quarter-opening shot by Hoover, Neil Conley hit from behind the arc for the Patriots, Pittman collected his second 3-pointer then Conley hit again from 3 with 1:47 showing for a 32-23 lead.
Southern, which shot 43 percent overall (22-for-51), couldn’t match Lincoln’s 3-point shooting in the second quarter, but the Eagles got seven field goals and went 2-for-2 at the foul line to keep the Patriots from pulling away. Marlin Taylor and Drew Taylor both hit inside for Southern to close the first half and make it a 34-27 ballgame.
The Patriots used a 7-2 run to start the second half to widen the gap. Conway scored the first of his 14 second-half points off a baseline drive then converted on a three-point play. Following an Abshear bucket for Southern, Hoover put up two points to give the Patriots a 41-29 lead.
The Lincoln lead remained at double digits, 49-37, going into the fourth quarter.
A Conway jumper two minutes into the final frame gave Lincoln its biggest lead of the night, 55-40, but Southern was not ready to throw in the towel. The Eagles answered with an 11-2 run to whittle the Patriot lead down to six. Abshear and Trevor Huff both hit for 3-pointers in the run, Damien Harris and Stone each had one goal then Abshear added two free throws and a bucket to make it 57-51 with 3:32 to play.
Southern never got any closer.
After a double technical on Lincoln’s Pittman and Southern’s Harris, the Patriots rolled off eight straight points to cushion their lead once again. Hill converted on a three-point play, Conway sank two free throws and Conley drained his third 3-pointer for a 65-51 margin, and the Eagles never challenged again.
Lincoln was 12-for-16 from the free throw line and Southern was 8-for-15.
Southern was 3-for-14 from 3-point range.
Taylor had 10 assists and Pittman had four for Lincoln, which had 19 total. The Patriots had only six turnovers.
Southern also only had six turnovers.
Damien Harris finished with 10 points and five rebounds for the Eagles. Drew Taylor led Southern in rebounding with seven rebounds and Stone had six.