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KANSAS CITY — The Lincoln men's basketball team dropped its season opener Friday night 64-63 to Sioux Falls in the MIAA Challenge at Municipal Auditorium.

The Blue Tigers led by as many as 10 points in the first half after a Lamont Ballard 3-pointer made the score 16-6 with 10:48 left before halftime.

Sioux Falls was within two at 16-14 a few minutes later following a Teathloach Pal layup and Lincoln never led by more than six the rest of the half.

Trevon Adams made a 3 in the final seconds of the first half to cut the Blue Tiger lead to 29-28.

Lincoln got off to a fast start in the second half, scoring the first six points to lead 35-28.

Sioux Falls eventually took a 50-49 lead on a Jack Thompson 3 at the 6:42 mark.

A pair of Jonell Burton free throws made it 55-50 Lincoln at the 5:33 mark, but an 8-0 run for Sioux Falls gave the Cougars the lead for good.

Austin Slater scored a game-high 22 points for Sioux Falls, making 16-of-20 free throws with eight rebounds.

Burton led Lincoln with 16 points, knocking in 9-of-10 at the line. Cameron Potts also reached double digits in points with 14 to go with four rebounds and three assists.

L'Kielynn Taylor pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds for the Blue Tigers. He also had nine points and three assists.

Ballard and Bansi King added nine points each.

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