Buie hits winning shot as Lincoln tops Lindenwood

Lincoln junior Mike Smith flies above Lindenwood defenders toward the basket Thursday night at Jason Gym.

Lincoln junior Mike Smith flies above Lindenwood defenders toward the basket Thursday night at Jason Gym. Katie Alaimo

The Lincoln men’s basketball team had a saying coming into Thursday night’s game: Get it done.

Joshua Buie and the Blue Tigers did just that.

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Josh Hall reports

Buie hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 15 seconds left as Lincoln claimed a 74-73 victory against Lindenwood in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association matchup at Jason Gym.

“It’s a great feeling,” Buie said. “Our quote for the game was GID — get it done. That’s all we focused on. No matter how we did it, no matter how ugly it looked, we just had to get it done.”

The Blue Tigers (3-18, 1-12) picked up their first MIAA win this season and snapped a 12-game losing streak in the process.

“It’s a great win,” Lincoln coach John Redmond said. “We finally got the monkey off our back. I didn’t know if it was ever going to come, but it finally came — in a dramatic way.”

Caleb Heckemeyer poked the ball lose and Dimitrije Gudovski recovered it with 40 seconds left and the game tied at 71. Buie then ran the shot clock down to the final seconds before pulling up from two feet behind the arc.

“I just wanted to be a leader and help my team get this win,” Buie said. “When I shot it, it felt good but I thought it was short. When it went through the net, I was relieved.

“We fought hard, we came back, my key was just to get the win.”

Lindenwood’s ensuing shot from 3-point range fell short, but the Lions recovered the offensive board and Marcus Hinton converted on a put-back dunk as the buzzer sounded.

It didn’t matter.

Video

Postgame vs. Lindenwood - LU Coach Redmond

LincolnBlueTigers on YouTube http://youtu.be/hJ10-cT7cbw

“We needed some growth,” Redmond said. “We know we can play, but now we’ve got some confidence that they can get it done.”

Mike Smith scored a game-high 31 points to help lead Lincoln, which was 30-of-58 (51.7 percent) from the field and 5-of-21 from the 3-point line. Buie added 18 points, while James Edmond chipped in with 10 for the Blue Tigers.

“This is the first time in a long time that we’ve had more than one person in double figures,” Redmond said. “That was a big help tonight.”

Lindenwood (9-14, 4-9) led by as many as 11 with 4:09 left in the first half and remained in control until Smith hit a jumper to tie it with 15:43 remaining in the game.

The Lions recovered and went up by five with 5:19 to play, but a pair of free throws by Buie gave Lincoln a 71-70 advantage with a little less than two minutes remaining.

Darris Smith knocked down a free throw to tie it, but Buie and the Blue Tigers’ defense took over from there.

“Defensively, we put some new things in and the kids executed,” Redmond said. “I think that’s the big difference — especially down the stretch when we made some great stops and we forced them to take some quick shots.”

Garrett Reeg scored 19 points, while Marcus Hinton added 18, and Tyler Ressel chipped in with 12 to help lead the Lions, who were 25-of-55 (45.5 percent) from the field and 6-of-15 from behind the arc.

Lincoln was outrebounded 42-23, but the Blue Tigers committed just seven turnovers to help pull away from Lindenwood and pick up their first win since Nov. 30.

“That’s been my whole motto this week: get the monkey off our back,” Redmond said. “Like I told the kids, ‘I think once we do that, we’ve got a chance.’”

Lincoln will host Northwest Missouri at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Bearcats, who claimed a 92-59 win against Lincoln on Feb. 2, still lead the league, while the Blue Tigers remain last place in the 14-team field. But Lincoln still has hopes of making the MIAA Tournament.

“We’re battling for our lives,” Redmond said. “We’re in a position, if we can survive these five homestands, we’ve still got a shot at the tournament. It might be on the road, but we’ve still got a shot. We’re not dead mathematically.

“If they take it to heart and come out every night and think GID, we’ve got a chance.”

Related video:

Postgame vs. Lindenwood - LU Coach Redmond

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