The Lincoln Blue Tigers will be spending plenty of time in Jason Gym the rest of the regular season.
Lincoln has eight games remaining, and six will be at home, beginning with tonight's doubleheader against the Missouri Western Griffons. The women's basketball game begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men's game at 7:30 p.m.
The Lincoln men are 15-5 overall, and their 8-3 conference record is tied for second in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association standings. Missouri Western (10-12, 4-7 MIAA) is in a three-way tie for ninth place in the conference.
The Blue Tigers beat the Griffons 79-68 in their previous meeting Dec. 8 at St. Joseph.
Lavon Hightower, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, ranks seventh in the MIAA with 19.9 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points in each of the Griffons last four games, including a season-high 33 points in last Saturday's 95-87 overtime win against Pittsburg State.
Three other players are averaging double figures in scoring this season for Missouri Western. Bryan Hudson, a 6-3 senior guard, is averaging 14.2 points, while Tyrell Carroll, a 5-11 freshman guard, is at 13.1 points per game. Tyus Millhollin, a 6-1 junior guard, is scoring 10.8 points per game.
Hightower also leads the Griffons in rebounds per game (7.7), made 3-pointers (58) and blocked shots (14).
Lincoln's starting five are all averaging 10 points per game or better. Terrance Smith leads the Blue Tigers with 16.3 points per game, followed by Amariontez Ivory (14.1), Jonell Burton (13.1), Ni'Sean Rigmaiden (12.5) and Grant Olsson (10.2).
Ivory ranks second in the MIAA is 3s made (66) and 3-point percentage (49.6), while Rigmaiden is fourth in the league with 5.0 assists per game. Smith leads Lincoln with 6.8 rebounds per game.
The Blue Tigers are coming off back-to-back road wins in Kansas, beating Washburn 75-73 last Thursday and topping Emporia State 76-71 last Saturday. They have won 11 of their last 13 games.
The Lincoln women are still looking for their first win of 2019, trying to snap a nine-game losing skid that has dropped their overall record to 9-11. The Blue Tigers are last in the MIAA with a 1-10 record.
Missouri Western (10-10, 5-6 MIAA) made a last-second shot to beat Lincoln 62-61 in their previous meeting Dec. 8 at St. Joseph.
Katrina Roenfeldt, a 5-6 redshirt junior guard, ranks fourth in the MIAA with 16.0 points per game. She is also second in the conference with 57 made 3s and leads the Griffons with 5.2 rebounds per game.
Brittany Atkins, a 5-9 senior guard, is averaging 11.5 points per game for Missouri Western, which is coming off a 79-68 loss to Pittsburg State.
Lincoln has two players ranked in the top 10 in the MIAA in scoring. Zhanesha Dickerson is fifth in the league at 16.0 points per game, while Zoi Thompson is 10th with 13.7 points per game.
Bre Coleman, who has played in just 12 games, is averaging 14.6 points and has a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game for the Blue Tigers.
Thompson is also third in the MIAA with 4.3 assists per game.
The Blue Tigers have lost their last four games at Jason Gym. Their last win was Dec. 30, a 71-42 victory against St. Louis College of Pharmacy.