Blue Tigers close home slate tonight against Lindenwood

The scenario is simple for the Lincoln women — win and they’re in.

The Blue Tigers can clinch a spot in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Tournament with a victory against Lindenwood at 5:30 p.m. today at Jason Gym.

Lincoln holds down the 12th and final spot entering tonight’s game with a 5-11 league record, while Nebraska Kearney sits at 3-13 in conference play. With two league contests remaining, one Blue Tiger win or one Loper loss means Lincoln is in and Nebraska Kearney is out.

Lincoln still has a chance to climb in the standings, as Southwest Baptist sits at 6-11, Northwest Missouri and Missouri Southern rest at 6-10 and Missouri Western stands at 7-9. The Blue Tigers hold tiebreakers over Southwest Baptist and Missouri Western.

If Lincoln finishes the season somewhere between ninth and 12th in the standings, the Blue Tigers would travel for a first-round game March 5. If Lincoln can climb up to eighth, however unlikely, it would host a first-round game.

Tonight’s game will also serve as Senior Night for Lincoln’s Dahlia Booker, Roni Jefferson, Kevona Neel, Freddie Sims and Arriana Walker.

The senior trio of Walker, Sims and Booker provide the biggest numbers for the Blue Tigers. Walker leads the team in points (13.7), assists (4.6) and steals (3.3) while coming in third in rebounds (5.3). Sims adds 13.7 points and Booker contributes 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds.

Lincoln (10-14) has a chance to pull off a season sweep of Lindenwood (4-20, 1-15 MIAA), following a 72-63 victory Jan. 19 in St. Charles.

Lindenwood counters with Julie Hlinak at 12 points per game, Sarah Schnieders at 10.9 and Marissa Lehnig at 10.3.

Lincoln closes its regular season Friday at Fort Hays State.

III

The Lincoln men are playing for pride.

Eliminated from postseason contention, Lincoln (3-23, 2-14 MIAA) hosts Lindenwood (17-7, 10-6 MIAA) at 7:30 p.m. today at Jason Gym for Senior Night.

The MIAA’s leading scorer, Cedric Ridle Jr., will be honored along with Brandon Stanciel and Darius Whitson.

Ridle enters averaging 21.2 points per game, nearly three points better than Washburn’s Will McNeill (18.3 ppg). He’ll be looking to go out with a win in his last home contest. Whitson is third on the team with 6.7 points and junior Charles Cole adds 15.1 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds.

The Blue Tigers have quite a challenge on their hands with the Lions. Lindenwood tops the MIAA with 78.3 points per game, while Lincoln is last in the league in scoring defense by allowing 80 points per contest.

Alex Bazzell stars for the Lions by tallying 16.8 points. Cody Sorenson adds 11.7 and Richie Thompson tosses in 10.6.

Lincoln closes its regular season Friday at Fort Hays State.

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