MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill men's basketball team lost to Lincoln Memorial, 86-51, on Wednesday evening. The Lions fell to 5-20 overall and 3-16 in the conference, while LMU improved to 21-4 overall and 16-3 within the league.
Justin Hartfield led the Lions offensively with 11 points, while Collin Hartman chipped in nine points on 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Dotson Griffin grabbed a team-high six rebounds. The Lions shot 22-of-73 (30.1%) from the floor and was outrebounded by the Railsplitters, 54-37.
Mars Hill came out with a tremendous amount of intensity on both ends of the floor, racing out to a quick 7-4 lead following a three by Hartfield. However, six straight from LMU gave the Railsplitters their first lead at 10-7. A three ball by Collin Hartman followed by an old-fashioned three-point play from Dotson Griffin gave the Lions the lead back, 14-13, at the 13:54 mark.
From that point a back-and-forth affair would ensue as the two teams traded the lead a total of four times over the next eight-plus minutes. With the score knotted at 22-all, LMU reeled off a 13-4 run to lead 35-26 with less than four minutes to play in the opening half. The Lions trimmed the deficit by one and went into the locker room trailing 38-30.
Lincoln Memorial opened the second half on a 10-2 run, ballooning its lead to 48-32, forcing an early timeout by the Blue and Gold. The brief hiatus did little for momentum as LMU continued to score the basketball, collecting six-of-eight points coming out of the mini break. A three by Cornelius Taylor at the 14:11 mark gave the Railsplitters their biggest lead of the game (59-36).
After the Lions cut the gap to 20 (59-39), Lincoln Memorial went on a 16-6 run to control the game handily, 75-45, with 4:39 remaining in the contest. LMU closed the game out with a dominant 86-51 win.
Chris Perry led all scorers with 21 on 8-of-11 from the field. As a team LMU shot 53% from the floor (35-66).
The Lions will return to action on Saturday, February 18, traveling to Greeneville, Tenn. to face the Tusculum Pioneers. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.