No. 2 LMU stays hot as Pioneers fall 103-70 on the road

No. 2 LMU stays hot as Pioneers fall 103-70 on the road

HARROGATE, Tenn. --- Lincoln Memorial's Dorian Pinson scored a career-high 30 points in leading the second-ranked Railsplitters to a 103-70 South Atlantic Conference win over in-state foe Tusculum Wednesday night at Tex Turner Arena.

LMU (18-1, 12-0 SAC) remains undefeated in the league and completes the season sweep over the Pioneers (5-14, 3-9 SAC) and extends its winning streak over TC to 23 in a row dating back to 2009.  LMU also wins its seventh straight game and 26th SAC victory in a row.

The Railsplitters placed five players in double figure scoring, led by Pinson who shot a sizzling 14-of-16 from the floor, while also totaling nine rebounds and three blocked shots.  Joining him in double digits were Emanuel Terry (18), Cornelius Taylor (12), Trevon Shaw (12) and Alex Dahling (12).

Tusculum junior Peyton Woods paced the Pioneers with his 16 points off the bench, while freshman Zailan Peeler added 15 markers and two assists.  Dashaunte Smith added nine points, Jackie Smith contributed seven and Elon Smallwood had six.  Donovan Donaldson tallied three points and dished out six assists for the visitors.

The lead bounced back and forth on four occasions in the opening five minutes.  LMU jumped out to a 5-0 lead before answered with a 13-6 spurt which included a three-pointer each from Peeler and Donaldson and a pair of Peeler free throws as Tusculum led 13-11 with 14:59 to go in the half.

After a timeout, LMU erupted for 15 straight points to spark a 32-8 run which propelled the Railsplitters to a 43-21 lead at the 5:09 mark of the half.

LMU pushed the lead out to as many as 26 (51-25) before Tusculum made a run at the end of the period thanks to two treys from Woods and another trifecta from Peeler as the Pioneers trailed 57-37 at halftime.

The Railsplitters shot a blistering 24-of-35 from the floor in the half for 68.6 percent and out-rebounded TC 25-9 after 20 minutes.  Tusculum finished the first period shooting 34.4 percent (11-of-32), but went 7-of-17 from three-point territory (41.2%) and 8-of-9 at the free throw line (88.9%).

LMU outscored Tusculum 46-33 in the second half and led by as many as 36 points before finishing with the 33-point win, the largest margin of victory in the series since an 84-49 win in Harrogate in 2014.

LMU finished the game with a 46-29 advantage on the boards and out-scored Tusculum 54-14 in the paint.  The Railsplitters recorded 24 assists on its 39 made field goals while committing only six turnovers.  TC tallied 16 helpers on its 21 made baskets as the Pioneers finished with 13 three-pointers on the evening.

Tusculum returns home this Saturday when they host Catawba for a 4 p.m. contest at Pioneer Arena.  TC defeated the Catawba Indians 87-73 last month in Salisbury.  Catawba will be coming off an 89-86 overtime loss to No. 3 Queens University of Charlotte on Wednesday.

Saturday is also Legends Day as Tusculum will be honoring former Tusculum greats Ralph Horne and Susan Starnes Brown, who will be having their jersey numbers retired.