The Lindenwood men’s basketball team (7-9, 2-1 OVC) roared back from a 20-point deficit to earn a 67-62 victory in a battle with Little Rock (5-11, 1-2 OVC) on the road in Little Rock, Ark.
Lindenwood cut the early deficit to one point after Kevin Caldwell Jr. hit a three pointer at the 18:34 mark. The Lions were held scoreless for nearly five minutes as the Trojans built a 15-5 lead. Little Rock continued to stay hot on the offensive end, extending its lead to 27-9 with less than 10 minute to go in the first half.
Tommie Williams hit a three pointer at the 6:17 mark to spark a 10-point run for the Lions. The Trojans closed out the half on a strong note by holding a 41-27 advantage at the break. The Lions fell behind 48-38 by the 16:06 mark, but stepped up on the defensive end and found success at the rim. Chris Childs and Keenon Cole hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc, as Lindenwood was able to cut the deficit to 10 points near the halfway point of the second frame.
After Cole hit another long-range shot, Childs attacked the rim to cut the Little Rock lead to just six points with less than 10 minutes to go in regulation. Cole caught fire from behind the arc, and his fourth three-point bucket of the half made it a slim 58-57 lead for the Trojans. At the 5:51 mark, Childs knocked down a pair of free throws to give Lindenwood a one-point lead.
Caldwell Jr. made a tough layup with 2:25 to go in the game, making it a 63-60 Lindenwood lead. After the Trojans made a layup with less than a minute to cut the lead to one point, the Lions forced Little Rock into a less than ideal look and forced the missed shot. Childs knocked down both free throws, plus a pair of technical foul shots to give Lindenwood the wild 67-62 comeback victory.
The Lions shot 66.7 percent from the field, including 62.5 percent from behind the arc in the second half. On the flip side, the Lions were nails on defense in the second 20 minutes of play, holding the Trojans to just 26.7 percent shooting from the field. The Lions outscored the Trojans 40-27 in the second half alone to earn its second conference victory of the season.
Cole was outstanding in the Lindenwood victory, shooting 8-of-10 from the floor with a perfect 5-of-5 night from three-point range. Childs dropped a team-high 23 points, as he was 50 percent from the floor and made all eight of his free-throw attempts. Remy Lemovou played just 12 minutes, but efficiently went 3-of-3 from the field, registered two blocks, and pulled down four boards. Brandon Trimble was held scoreless, however, he pulled down key rebounds late in the game to help secure the road win.
“Just a gutsy and true team win,” said head coach Kyle Gerdeman. “Guys stepped up in a lot of areas and contributed big minutes. Win or lose, it was a tremendous effort, and winning just makes everything feel a lot better. Our guys deserved that feeling tonight.”
Keenon Cole (21 PTS, 11 REB, 1 AST, 8-of-10 FG, 5-of-5 3FG)
Chris Childs (23 PTS, 5 REB, 7-of-10 FG, 8-of-8 FT)
Kevin Caldwell Jr. (9 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST)
Lindenwood will return home on Saturday to host Tennessee State at 3:30 p.m. from Hyland Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
Mick Lite served for 12 years in the military and is now an entrepreneur and photographer. Has worked as the official scorer and social media manager for the River City Rascals, Statistician for the Missouri Monsters and St. Louis Attack arena football teams, and as the Team Photographer and social media consultant for the St. Charles Chill, SLU Hockey, St. Louis Slam, and Gateway Grizzlies.