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No. 3 LMU blows past 22nd-ranked Catawba 110-85

HARROGATE, Tenn. — After an unusually cool shooting night Wednesday and a plethora of uncharacteristic first-half mistakes, the third-ranked Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team left little to doubt Saturday with a dominant 110-85 victory over nationally-ranked Catawba College inside Tex Turner Arena. The host Railsplitters (15-1, 8-0) extended their nation-leading win streak to 15 and earned their 10th 20-point victory of 2019-20 behind 60.3 percent (38-of-63) shooting and 61 second-half points.

In a battle among South Atlantic Conference and NCAA Division II Southeast Region leaders, LMU was nothing short of impressive with three 20-point scorers and 13 made three pointers. The Railsplitters held the visiting 22nd-ranked Indians (11-3, 6-2) to 40.3 percent (27-of-67) from the field and 25 percent (5-of-20) from deep in the second top-25 matchup in Harrogate this season.

Remaining perfect in league play and improving to 9-0 at home, LMU got a game-high 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting from standout sophomore guard Courvoisier McCauley and a career-high 27 points from an electric Julius Brown. The sophomore guard hit all four of his three-point attempts and was also 10-for-14 from the floor in 29-and-a-half minutes of play off the bench. Starting senior point guard Anthony Brown notched had his second 20-point outing of the season with 21 points, a game-high six assists and five rebounds. The high-flying, 6-foot-1 Florida native rose up for one of the most impressive dunks in recent Railsplitter memory a few minutes in and went 8-for-9 at the foul line.

Committing just 11 turnovers, compared to 20 Wednesday night against UVA Wise, LMU scored 44 points in the paint and had 21 fastbreak points. The Railsplitters went 21-for-27 (77.8%) on free throws and led by as much as 34 in the second half after trailing by four under 10 minutes to go in the opening half.

After Catawba drilled a three in the early going, LMU scored 12-straight points with eight consecutive points from McCauley and Anthony Brown’s posterizing, one-handed dunk fueling the 12-0 run. The Indians were able to recover from the Railsplitters’ hot start by going on a 9-2 run over a two-minute span to get within two at 14-12.

For the most part, the two teams stayed within a possession of one another until an in-the-paint jumper by Catawba forward Daquan Lilly put the visitors ahead 24-20 with 9:51 remaining in the first half. Trailing 31-28 with 5:56 showing in the half, LMU went on an impressive 19-7 run over the following 5:23 of play.

Back-to-back treys from redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Henry and a three-point corner dagger from Julius Brown capped the game-changing Railsplitter run and put the home team ahead by nine at 47-38 with 33 seconds left in the half. A Julius Brown jumper before the halftime buzzer sent LMU into the locker room holding an eight-point, 49-41 advantage.

The Railsplitters shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) in the opening 20 minutes of action and went 5-for-10 from distance and 10-for-12 (83.3%) at the free-throw line. Anthony Brown had 14 points at the break with McCauley and Henry also reaching double-figure scoring. The Indians were 14-for-35 (40%) from the field in the first half and 3-for-11 (27.3%) from outside, while also 10-for-12 at the charity stripe.

McCauley started the second half on fire, scoring 10-straight points for LMU and 13 total during a 16-5 Railsplitter run over the first four minutes. An old-fashioned three-point play by McCauley put LMU up by 19 at 65-46 before the Railsplitters went on another extensive run. Leading 65-47 at the 15:50 mark, LMU outscored Catawba 12-1 over the following three-and-a-half minutes of play to take a commanding 29-point lead with back-to-back Julius Brown three pointers.

A McCauley layup pushed the Railsplitters out in front by 31 at 85-54 with just under nine minutes to go and LMU would continue to hover around a 30-point lead for the next five minutes of action. Capping a 7-1 spurt, Henry nailed another trey to give the Railsplitters their largest lead of the day at 100-66 with just under five minutes left.

Julius Brown scored six of LMU’s final 10 points of the contest as the Indians closed out the game on a 19-10 run.

Saturday marked the fourth time this season the Railsplitters have reached the century mark and first since scoring 122 against Tennessee Wesleyan on Dec. 15.

Henry finished with 16 points on 4-for-5 three-point shooting and a game-high 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and fourth of his career. He also dished out five assists and had two steals, while redshirt senior guard/forward Kameron Calhoun tallied nine points, pulled down a season-high eight rebounds, made three blocks and had a pair of assists.

Catawba had three players reach double-figure scoring led by Terrence Whitfield’s 17. Starting point guard Marcell Haskett totaled 13 points and a team-best four assists as guard Devin Cooper also had 13 points and claimed six rebounds. Lilly scored nine points and earned a team-high eight boards, not to mention making three assists and a steal.

Up Next…

The Railsplitters wrap up their three-game homestand Wednesday by hosting Mars Hill before hitting the road for a pair of games Saturday, Jan. 18 at Anderson and Wednesday, Jan. 22 at Tusculum. Wednesday night’s affair with the Lions is slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip with the game presented by Commercial Bank.