Second Half Comeback Leads Lincoln Over SBU
JEFFERSON CITY -- After a first half controlled by Southwest Baptist, the Lincoln women's basketball team came back in a big way in the second, outscoring the Bearcats, 45-30, to claim a 77-65 victory on Saturday. Dahlia Booker came off the bench to lead LU with 18 points while Freddie Sims scored 15 and Arriana Walker added 14.
The Bearcats opened the game with an 11-2 run and held a nine-point lead with 13:34 to play in the first period before Sims keyed the Lincoln comeback with a trey. Sims, who finished the opening stanze with nine points, later made three free throws to cut the SBU advantage to five with just over a minute remaining. Booker later closed the gap to three on a layup with 33 seconds left, sending the game into the intermission with Lincoln down just 35-32.
Jackeya Mitchell set the tone in the second half, hitting a three-point shot less than 30 seconds into the period to tie the game at 35. SBU later built up a three-point lead, but scores from Walker and Sims put LU up, 41-40, for Lincoln's first lead of the game.
From there, the Lincoln defense did its job, as the Blue Tigers held Southwest Baptist scoreless from the field while going on a 12-1 run to secure the lead. Lincoln never allowed the Bearcats to cut the lead to less than eight, and held a 14-point advantage at several points late in the game. A big part of that was Booker, who scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half and finished the game with three rebounds and two assists.
Walker finished her day with five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals while Sims tallied two boards, two steals and a trio of assists. Roni Jefferson also reached the double-digit plateau, scoring 10 points with three rebounds and two steals.
Thanks in large part to the outstanding days by Booker and Jefferson, the Lincoln bench outscored the Bearcats' reserves, 34-19, and held a 32-22 advantage inside the paint. LU also won the turnover battle, scoring 16 points off 16 takeaways while limiting SBU to five steals.
Mitchell, Nesha Wright and Quiessence Price each scored six points while Alicia Johnson added two. Wright and Price each grabbed five rebounds, with Price also notching two steals, and Johnson snared four boards with a block.
The victory allowed Lincoln to even its record in conference play to 2-2 while improving the Blue Tigers to 7-5 on the season. Southwest Baptist, meanwhile, fell to 6-6 overall and 1-3 in MIAA play.
Lincoln will remain at home for its next contest, as the Blue Tigers will welcome Pittsburg State on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. CST tip.