Lincoln men to host Rogers State in MIAA regular-season finale

Lincoln’s Franck Yetna moves with the ball between two Central Missouri defenders during a game earlier this season at Jason Gym. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
Lincoln’s Franck Yetna moves with the ball between two Central Missouri defenders during a game earlier this season at Jason Gym. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

The Lincoln men’s basketball team will look to enter next week’s MIAA Tournament with some momentum when it hosts the Rogers State Hillcats today to conclude the regular season.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. in MIAA play at Jason Gym.

The Blue Tigers enter on a three-game losing streak, the last coming in an 82-74 defeat Thursday against Northeastern State.

Lincoln (14-13, 9-12 MIAA) has led by double digits in the second half of all three games during the slide and has lost four times this season after leading by 10 or more points in second halves.

The Blue Tigers were led by DJ Richardson and Sam Rautins with 16 points each in the loss. Richardson leads the team in scoring on the year at 15.2 points per game.

Rogers State (16-11, 13-8 MIAA) had a three-game win streak come to an end Thursday after a 75-57 loss at Central Missouri. The Hillcats were led by 6-foot-4 junior guard Kofi Hamilton, who ranks third on the team in scoring this season at 11.6 points per game, in the loss with 18 points. Four players average double figures for Rogers State, led by senior forward Isaac Johnson (6-5) at 14.2 points per contest.

Both teams have secured a spot in next week’s conference tournament, scheduled to begin Wednesday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

Lincoln does not have a chance to receive a first-round bye and will play at either 6 or 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the first round. The Blue Tigers could get the No. 9 seed in the tournament with a win coupled with a Missouri Western loss at Pittsburg State but would be the 10th seed with a loss or a Griffons’ victory.

The Hillcats have clinched a first-round bye and will open their tournament run Friday at either 6 or 8:15 p.m.

Rogers State won the first matchup this season 67-62 on Jan. 18 in Claremore, Okla., and lead the all-time series 5-1.

III

The Lincoln women’s basketball team will look to close out its season with another victory today when it hosts the Rogers State Hillcats at Gym.

Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. in MIAA play.

The Blue Tigers (7-20, 3-18 MIAA) are coming off a 70-58 victory Thursday against Northeastern State that snapped an 11-game losing streak.

Sophomore Ashlyn Alloway led the way in the win with 26 points and Miriam Bazylewicz added 14 off the bench. Alloway has led the way all season, entering the final game averaging 15.4 points -- ranking seventh in the MIAA -- on 51 percent shooting from the field to go along with 7.0 rebounds per game.

Rogers State (10-17, 5-16 MIAA) enters off an 83-71 loss Thursday at Central Missouri. The Hillcats were led by 6-foot-2 senior forward Alayzha Knapp with 24 points in the defeat. Knapp is currently second in the conference in scoring at 17.3 points per game.

It will be the final game of the season for both teams as each has been eliminated from MIAA Tournament contention.

Rogers State bolsters the fourth-best scoring defense in the association, allowing 60.7 points per contest, but enters 13th in scoring at 61.1 points per game. Lincoln is 12th in scoring offense (62.8 ppg) and 13th in scoring defense (72.7).

Knapp is the lone player averaging double figures for the Hillcats, while senior guard Steph Torres joins Alloway for Lincoln at 11.1 per contest.

Rogers State won the first matchup of the season 61-54 on Jan. 18 and leads the all-time series 5-1.

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