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home : sports : sports May 25, 2016

3/6/2013 10:17:00 AM
Statesmen fall to Southeastern IL, 73-71
Sports Editor

Three was the magic number in Monday night's first round game of the NJCAA Region 24 Men's Basketball Tournament at Lincoln Trail College.

It was the third meeting of the season between LTC and Southeastern Illinois College, as the Statesmen swept the season series during the regular season.

However, the third time was the charm for the visiting Falcons, thanks in large part to an area where the Statesmen have been solid and at time prolific - the three-point line - being absent.

Southeastern Illinois was able to erase a two-point halftime deficit and rally past Lincoln Trail, 73-71.

"It was one of those nights when the shots weren't falling," LTC head coach Mike Ray said. "When they aren't, you have got to be able to rely on your defense. We didn't follow the game plan and didn't hit free throws."

As were their previous two meetings, Monday's game was close throughout with both teams holding leads. There were 12 ties and seven lead changes in the game, with the biggest lead for either team being six points.

Lincoln Trail got off to a quick start, with a layup by Jake Newton and two free throws from Dennis Hightower to take a 4-0 lead, but Southeastern Illinois scored the next four points to even the score. The teams then traded baskets on the next few possessions before an 8-4 spurt gave Southeastern Illinois a 16-13 lead with 13:38 to play. The Falcons pushed the lead to five, 20-15, but consecutive baskets by LTC's Ron Dietz and Daryll Walker closed the gap to 20-19 with 9:25 left.

A three-pointer by Southeastern's D'Markian Sallie started a 9-4 run that gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the game, 29-23, with 3:41 to play, but the Statesmen would respond with seven straight points to regain the lead. A spin and layup by Nick Painter started the run, then Caleb Begle followed with two free throws to pull LTC to within 29-27 with 2:29 remaining. Painter then put the Statesmen back on top, 30-29, with an old-fashioned three-point play at the 1:05 mark, but two free throws by Isaiah Thomas put Southeastern back in front, 31-30, with 55.6 seconds left. A free throw by Jordan Houser evened the score with 51 seconds left, then after a steal by Walker, Houser drove to the basket for a layup to give the Statesmen a 33-31 lead at halftime.

Five quick points by Southeastern Illinois ignited a 9-2 run that gave the Falcons a 40-35 lead with 17:40 to go, but LTC answered with a putback by Jesse Tesmer, a free throw from Dietz and a baseline jumper by Painter to even the score at 40-40 with 15:42 remaining. The game was then tied at 42-42, 44-44, 48-48, 49-49 and 51-51 in a see-saw seven minutes of action before Hightower put LTC in front for the last time, 53-51, on a layup with 8:10 to play.

Southeastern Illinois then scored the next five points to take a 56-53 lead with 6:56 left and they would not trail again. A free throw by Painter pulled LTC to within two, then after a three-point play by Southeastern's Michael Walker, Adam Hendrix scored three straight points to get LTC to within 59-57 with 5:09 remaining. Southeastern pushed the lead back to five before a putback by Hightower and two free throws from Painter closed the gap to one, 62-61, with 2:39 to play. Walker would hit a shot from the top of the key as the shot clock was winding down to put SIC back up by three with 2:06 to go, but a layup by Hendrix made the score 64-63 with 1:26 left.

It then became a free throw shooting contest in the final minute, as Southeastern Illinois made nine of 10 foul shots to preserve the win. Lincoln Trail was still within two, 68-66, after two free throws by Caleb Begle with 24 seconds left, but Jamar Rivera hit a free throw for Southeastern with 19.3 seconds left, then after Houser misfired on a three-pointer, Walker made two foul shots with 10.6 seconds left to make the score 71-66. Houser drove to the basket to close the gap to three with five seconds left, but Southeastern's Jermaine Lee made two free throws with four seconds left to seal the win. Houser made a three-pointer at the buzzer - the only long-range basket of the game for the Statesmen - to trim the final margin to two.

Ray noted there were three points of emphasis coming into the game for the Statesmen and they didn't do any of them well.

"The three things we talked about before the game were keeping Walker in front of us, defending Rivera who is a good shooter and making free throws," Ray said. "Those were our keys and if we do those, we'd be playing Wednesday night."

The Statesmen actually made more two-point field goals and more free throws than Southeastern Illinois, but it was the shots they didn't make that were the difference.

Lincoln Trail made 24-59 field goal attempts overall (41 percent), including 23-43 from two-point range (54 percent), but the Statesmen were just 1-16 from three-point range (6 percent). Meanwhile, Southeastern Illinois was 25-62 from the floor (40 percent), including 22-43 from inside the arc (51 percent) and 3-19 from long distance (16 percent). The Statesmen hit just 22-34 attempts from the free throw line (65 percent), while Southeastern Illinois made 20-28 foul shots (71 percent).

"We just didn't shoot the ball well, which happens," Ray said. "When you have good shooters, it's hard to tell them not to shoot. We probably should have probed the inside more."

Hightower led LTC with 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot, while Painter posted 12 points, nine rebounds and one blocked shot. Hendrix netted 10 points, four rebounds and one blocked shot, Houser totaled nine points, four rebounds, one steal and one assist, Begle contributed eight points, three assists and two rebounds, Tesmer collected four points, five rebounds, one steal, one assist and one blocked shot, Newton recorded three points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal, Dietz added three points, three rebounds and one assist, Walker had two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal and Jacob Duncan had two points and one rebound.

Walker led Southeastern Illinois with 26 points, nine rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot, while Rivera posted 18 points, five rebounds and one steal.

"They do a nice job of dribble penetration," Ray said. "Walker is good and he pretty much had his way with us."

Southeastern Illinois advances to play second-seeded Southwestern Illinois in the quarterfinals at Rend Lake College Wednesday at 6 p.m. Also Wednesday, top-seeded Vincennes University will take on Kaskaskia at noon, fourth-seeded Wabash Valley will play fifth-seeded Lake Land at 2 p.m. and third-seeded John A. Logan will play sixth-seeded Olney Central at 8 p.m.

Lincoln Trail ended its season with a 16-15 record. That nearly doubled the win total from last season, which is encouraging to Ray.

"We won nine last year and 16 this year, so that is a step in the right direction," Ray said. "These kids came in from the first day and worked extremely hard. They are a classy group of young men and I am extremely happy with the direction they are taking the program. With the players we have coming back and the recruits we've got coming in, the future is bright for Lincoln Trail basketball."

2013 NJCAA Region 24 Men's

Basketball Tournament

First Round

At LTC Sports Center, Robinson

Southeastern Illinois College 31 42 - 73

Lincoln Trail College 33 38 - 71


D'Markian Sallie 0-1 1-6 0-0 3, Terrell Lawrence 3-7 0-2 1-4 7, Jamar Rivera 4-6 2-6 4-5 18, Jermaine Lee 2-5 0-0 2-2 6, Isaiah Thomas 2-2 0-0 2-2 6, Jalen West 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jamie Carr 0-0 0-1 1-2 1, Michael Walker 9-18 0-4 8-11 26, Lloyd Davis 2-4 0-0 2-2 6, Mirko Tadinac 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 22-43 2FG, 3-19 3FG, 20-28 FT, 73 TP.


Jordan Houser 2-2 1-3 2-4 9, Daryll Walker 1-3 0-0 0-2 2, Ron Dietz 1-1 0-1 1-2 3, Caleb Begle 2-3 0-4 4-4 8, Adam Hendrix 3-5 0-0 4-6 10, Jacob Duncan 0-1 0-1 2-2 2, Dennis Hightower 7-12 0-3 4-6 18, Nick Painter 4-6 0-1 4-6 12, Jake Newton 1-4 0-3 1-2 3, John Bootz 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jesse Tesmer 2-6 0-0 0-0 4, TOTALS 23-43 2FG, 1-16 3FG, 22-34 FT, 71 TP.

Turnovers - SIC 8, LTC 11. Team fouls - SIC 23, LTC 23. Fouled out - Davis, Hightower. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (SIC 38) Walker 9, Lee 8, Lawrence 5, Rivera 5, Davis 5. (LTC 42) Painter 9, Hightower 6, Newton 6, Tesmer 5, Houser 4, Hendrix 4, Dietz 3, Begle 2, Walker 2, Duncan. Steals - (SIC 8) Sallie 3, Walker 2. (LTC 5) Houser, Walker, Hightower, Newton, Tesmer. Assists - (SIC 5) Sallie 2, Lee, Thomas, Walker. (LTC 11) Begle 3, Hightower 3, Houser, Walker, Dietz, Newton, Tesmer.

Next game - Lincoln Trail ended its season with a 16-15 record.

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