Lincoln men, women need victories to keep up in race for conference tourney

With time running thin, the Lincoln basketball teams are in need of some victories.

But the Blue Tigers will more than have their hands full this afternoon with a doubleheader against Central Missouri.

The Lincoln women are in better shape than the men, sitting in 11th place in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association with a 4-9 conference record. Twelve of the league’s 15 teams qualify for the postseason tournament. Lincoln is a half-game ahead of 12th-place Southwest Baptist (4-10) and a game ahead of 13th-place Nebraska Kearney (3-10).

The Blue Tigers (9-13 overall) travel to Warrensburg for a 1:30 p.m. tipoff with the Jennies, who sit in second place at 12-2 in the league, just a half-game behind Washburn (12-1). Central Missouri is 20-2 on the season.

It will be the second meeting between the teams in a matter of weeks, as Lincoln dropped a 77-67 decision to Central Missouri on Jan. 30 at home. The Jennies are 12-0 in Warrensburg.

A large reason for Central Missouri’s success is Keuna Flax, a midseason addition, who averages 20.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. BreAnna Lewis adds 15.9 points while Nicole Caddell scores 13.3 points and grabs 10.2 rebounds.

Lincoln counters with Arriana Walker, a do-it-all point guard who averages 14 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals. Freddie Sims is next with 13.7 points and is followed by Dahlia Booker at 11.5 points.

III

The Lincoln men’s situation is a little more dicey.

The Blue Tigers sit in last place in the MIAA at 3-22 overall and 2-11 in league play, 2 1/2 games out of the 12th and final tournament spot.

In desperate need of a victory, Lincoln gets the pleasure of meeting first-place Central Missouri (16-6, 10-4 MIAA) at 3:30 p.m. today.

When the Blue Tigers and Mules met Jan. 30 in Jefferson City, Central Missouri blasted Lincoln 111-72. It will take quite an effort for Lincoln to win in Warrensburg, where the Mules are a perfect 11-0.

Dominique Long is the go-to guy for Central Missouri, tallying 15.6 points per game. Widgett Washington adds 11.7 and Charles Hammork contributes 11.1.

Lincoln does boast the league’s leading scorer in Cedric Ridle Jr., a senior guard who tosses in 19.5 points per game. He is second on the team with 6.3 rebounds. Charles Cole is the only other Blue Tiger in double figures at 15 a game. He tops the team by grabbing 6.8 rebounds.

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