Lincoln women qualify for MIAA Tournament

The Lincoln Blue Tigers are going back to the women’s MIAA Postseason Tournament.

Arriana Walker finished with 21 points Wednesday night to lead Lincoln to a 72-56 victory against Lindenwood at Jason Gym. With the win, Lincoln (11-14 overall, 6-11 MIAA) assured itself of finishing among the top 12 teams in the conference.

The teams traded points early in the contest as Lindenwood led 12-11 with slightly less than 12 minutes left in the first half. Lincoln then went on 16-0 run during the next five minutes to take the lead for good.

Lincoln led by as many as 17 points in the half before settling on the 15-point advantage at intermission.

Lindenwood clawed its way back into it in the second half, trimming the deficit to 50-46 with nine minutes left.

But Lincoln rebounded with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to push its lead back to double digits.

Walker finished 5-of-5 on 3-pointers in the contest, as Lincoln was 12-of-20 from beyond the arc. Roni Jefferson added 13 points for the Blue Tigers, while Alicia Johnson topped Lincoln with nine rebounds.

Julie Hlinak had 21 points for Lindenwood (4-21, 1-16). Sarah Schnieders chipped in with 10.

Lincoln finishes up the regular season Friday at Fort Hays State with a chance to climb to as high as ninth in the conference. The Blue Tigers currently sit in 11th.

III

The Lincoln men couldn’t stop the MIAA’s best offense.

Lindenwood shot 57.7 percent from the floor en route to an 80-65 victory Wednesday night at Jason Gym.

The Lions opened the game on a 14-0 run and never looked back. Lincoln didn’t score until the 15:58 mark of the opening half on a 3-pointer from Montez Fifer.

Lindenwood led by as many as 18 points in the first half and took a 43-31 edge into halftime.

Lincoln did get within single digits at 65-56 on a free throw from Charles Cole with 6:25 remaining. Lindenwood quickly went back up by double digits and cruised to the win.

Cole led Lincoln with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven rebounds. Fifer tallied 15 points and Cedric Ridle Jr. added 12.

Richie Thompson paced Lindenwood (18-7, 11-6 MIAA) with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting and a game-high eight rebounds. Alex Bazzell added 18 points.

Lincoln (3-24, 2-15) closes out the regular season Friday at Fort Hays State.

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