MARYVILLE -- The Lincoln men’s basketball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end Saturday as the Blue Tigers dropped a 59-38 decision to the defending national champion Northwest Missouri Bearcats in MIAA play.
Artese Stapleton opened the game with a layup for the Blue Tigers, but Lincoln would struggle to get its offense going the rest of the first half.
Northwest Missouri scored 18 of the next 20 points to jump out to an 18-4 lead with 10:44 left and would take a 39-14 lead into the locker room.
The Blue Tigers shot just 5-for-20 (25 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes, while the Bearcats were a blistering 54 percent (14-for-26) in the first half.
Lincoln held Northwest Missouri to just one point in the first six minutes of the second half, but was only able to score four points itself, as the Bearcats held onto a 40-18 advantage.
The closest the Blue Tigers got was a 19-point deficit after a Stapleton jumper cut it to 49-30 with 10:02 left. Northwest Missouri quickly extended the lead back out and led by as much as 25 at 59-34 with 2:10 to go.
Stapleton led the way for Lincoln (11-5, 7-5 MIAA) with 13 points as the lone Blue Tiger to reach double figures.
Diego Bernard finished with a game-high 20 points and Mitch Mascari added 12 for Northwest Missouri (17-2, 10-2).
Lincoln will look to rebound at 7:30 p.m. Monday with a road game against Missouri Southern (12-6, 8-4) in Joplin.
A big second half let the Northwest Missouri Bearcats’ women’s basketball team run away with a 72-48 victory Saturday against the Lincoln Blue Tigers in MIAA play.
The Blue Tigers opened the game on an 8-3 run and were able to take a 14-9 advantage to the second.
Lincoln continued to lead until two free throws by Jayna Green gave the Bearcats a 20-18 lead with 5:56 left before half.
The lead changed hands four times before intermission before the two sides went to break tied at 27.
Northwest Missouri opened the second half on a 6-0 run and was able to take a 50-38 lead to the fourth quarter.
The Blue Tigers scored the first two points of the fourth to cut their deficit to 10, but that would be the closest they would get, as the Bearcats’ biggest lead of the game was the final margin.
Le’Yanna McGinnis led the way for Lincoln (5-13, 3-9 MIAA) with 19 points and six rebounds.
Kelsey Fields scored a game-high 20 points for Northwest Missouri (10-8, 5-7) and Molly Hartnett joined her in double figures with 15.
The Blue Tigers will be back in action at 5:30 p.m. Monday against Missouri Southern (16-4, 8-4) in Joplin.