NEWBERRY, S.C. — Wally Jones’ game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds remaining capped a dramatic final minute of play and provided the win for the Railsplitters, as LMU escaped Newberry with an 84-82 win on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the No. 8 Lincoln Memorial improve to 12-2 in the South Atlantic Conference and 22-2 overall. The Wolves fall to 7-7 in the SAC and 13-9 on the season.
In an impressive offensive display for both squads, Newberry was powered by Shamel Akins’ 18 points. Dondray Walker finished with 17 points on 7-7 shooting from the charity stripe off the bench. Matt Dixon alson notched double-figures with ten points off the bench.
Along with draining the game-winner, Wally Jones led the Railsplitter attack with 19 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists. Jake Troyli hit a pivotal trey in the closing minute to conclude his perfect 6-6 performance for 18 points. Desmond Johnson added 11 points. Vincent Bailey pulled in seven boards to lead the Railsplitters in that category.
In this high-tempo game, the Wolves finished shooting 52 percent from the field. The Railsplitters bested that number by shooting an astounding 61 percent in the contest. LMU won the battle on the boards 29-23 while forcing Newberry into 19 turnovers. Ten different players recorded a bucket in the contest for Lincoln Memorial.
The game started slowly offensively as the two teams combined to reach a 4-4 stalemate with 17:20 left in the half. A bucket by Desmond Johnson put the Railsplitters on top 6-4 at just under the 17 minute mark. LMU would lead for the remainder of the half as they began to extend their advantage. With the Railsplitters leading 10-8 with 14:54 on the clock, LMU ran off an 8-0 run capped by Jake Troyli’s jumper with 12:24 left in the half to take an 18-10 lead.
The next minute saw the Wolves cut the deficit to three with a 5-0 run. The Railsplitters responded with a 11-4 rally, due in large part to their efficiency at the free throw line, to take a 29-19 lead near the eight minute mark. Newberry continued to hang tight as the game stood at a 29-23 score with 6:40 in the half. The next three minutes saw LMU throw down a 14-5 run to take a 43-28 advantage with 3:27 remaining in the first stanza. The Wolves cut the deficit to as little as nine in the final ticks but Troli’s jumper sent the game to the break with Lincoln Memorial on top 48-37.
The Wolves opened the second half by rolling out a 5-0 run to cut the score to 48-42 with 17:50 left to play. In the ensuing three minutes, Lincoln Memorial used a 10-3 rally to take the score back to 58-45 in their favor.
With the deficit remaining in double-figures, Matt Dixon’s trey drove the game to single-digits at 61-54 with just under ten minutes left to play. The game continued the ebb and flow of its path until the climactic juncture of the final five minutes. With the Railsplitters leading 70-63 with 5:50 on the clock, Newberry used a 9-2 rally to tie the game at 72-72 with 3:39 left in regulation.
The game saw several ties in the following minutes with the game reaching its final tie at 78-78 with 1:08 to play. Charles Brunes lay in at the one minute mark put the Wolves on top 80-78 with was quickly answered with a three-pointer from Jake Troyli to put the Railsplitters back on top with 28 ticks left on the clock.
Newberry took the inbounds pass and scored in the next possesion with a layup by Savad Garner to provide the Wolves with an 82-81 advantage with eleven seconds left to play.
As quickly as the game was taken from the Railsplitters, they stole it back with a cold-blooded three-pointer from Wally Jones with three seconds remaining to cap a breathtaking final minute of action. The Wolves desperation heave fell short as the LMU escaped Newberry, South Carolina with a 84-82 victory.
The Railsplitters will look to build on this season-altering victory as they hit the court on Wednesday, February 15th, when they host Brevard in the first of the final two home games of the regular season. That game is scheduled to tip at 8 p.m. in Tex Turner Arena.