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home : sports : sports
March 19, 2018

3/13/2018 8:56:00 AM
Statesmen knock off Lake Land, 96-79
NJCAA District 16 Men's Basketball Tournament
Sports Editor

Beating a team three times in the same season is a difficult proposition at any level and Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team proved that to be true Monday night (March 5).

Lincoln Trail avenged a pair of regular season losses to Lake Land, as the 10th-seeded Statesmen knocked off the seventh-seeded Lakers - who were without leading scorer Josh Jefferson due to illness - in the opening round of the NJCAA District 16 Men's Basketball Tournament.

"We told the guys all week that everybody was 0-0 and this game meant something," LTC head coach Luke Stuckey said. "This was big for our team that is full of freshmen to get a region win under our belt and get to the next round."

It was a struggle early on, as the Statesmen fell behind by 10 points about nine minutes into the game and still trailed 25-16 with 7:58 remaining, but LTC used a 15-2 run take a 31-27 lead with 4:14 to play and led by as many as six before taking a 37-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Statesmen carried that momentum over into the second half, as they never trailed on their way to outscoring Lake Land 59-45 over the final 20 minutes. Lincoln Trail led by as many as 19 points late in the game before settling for the 17-point win.

"That was a make or break moment going down 10 early," Stuckey said. "But our guys showed a lot of heart. We were able to make some plays, get out in transition and turned some steals into easy baskets."

Once again, the three-point line was a huge advantage for the Statesmen, as they knocked down 13-31 long range shots (42 percent) and outscored Lake Land 39-12 from beyond the arc.

As they have for much of the season, a balanced scoring attack carried LTC, with five players reaching double figures. Chuchu Enechionyia led the way with 20 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot, while Kendall Jones posted 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Casius Bell Jr. totaled 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals, LeAaron Cain contributed 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals, Justin Williams collected 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal, Lawrence Williams netted six points and five rebounds and Deante Booker tossed in six points.

"We hit them from all angles," Stuckey said. "We spread them out and with LeAaron penetrating, he did a great job finding the open man and we hit shots tonight, which was great to see. Tonight was a group effort, but we needed someone to step up and LeAaron had his best game of the year. He was constantly in the lane finding the open man and facilitating and on defense he got deflections, steals and just pestered them all night."

Josh Robinson led Lake Land with 27 points, seven assists and two rebounds, while Amel Kuljuhovic posted 14 points, four rebounds and one blocked shot and Kevin Williams contributed 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one assist.

"This game meant a lot to us," Stuckey said. "It was big for our team and program to get a win and get to the next round."

NJCAA District 16 Men's Basketball Tournament

At Laker Fieldhouse, Mattoon

Lincoln Trail College 37 59 - 96

Lake Land College 34 45 - 79


Justin Williams 2-5 3-9 0-0 13, Kendall Jones 8-13 0-0 3-7 19, Chuchu Enechionyia 2-3 3-7 7-9 20, Casius Bell Jr. 5-9 2-8 2-2 18, Lawrence Williams 0-2 2-2 0-0 6, LeAaron Cain 3-7 2-4 2-4 14, J.T. Counts 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Deante Booker 1-1 1-1 1-1 6, Kendall Williams 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter Ragan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 21-40 2FG, 13-31 3FG, 15-23 FT, 96 TP.


Kasey Elam 1-4 0-3 1-2 3, Sean Kromah 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Kevin Williams 4-9 0-0 4-5 12, Amel Kuljuhovic 7-11 0-2 0-0 14, Josh Robinson 7-9 3-7 4-6 27, Davis Johnson 0-1 0-3 0-0 0, Tra Landers 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, Allante Harper 1-1 0-2 2-2 4, Dazon Farris 2-2 1-2 1-1 8, Davion Pettigrew 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Kevonte Williams 2-4 0-1 3-4 7, Tromon Weston 0-1 0-1 2-2 2, TOTALS 25-45 2FG, 4-23 3FG, 17-22 FT, 79 TP.

Turnovers - LTC 16, LLC 17. Team fouls - LTC 19, LLC 20. Fouled out - L. Williams. Technical foul - L. Williams, Kuljuhovic. Rebounds - (LTC 43) Enechionyia 9, Jones 8, Cain 7, J. Williams 6, Bell 6, L. Williams 5, K. Williams, Ragan. (LLC 33) K. Williams 7, Elam 5, Kuljuhovic 4. Steals - (LTC 7) Cain 3, Bell 2, Enechionyia, J. Williams. (LLC 5) K. Williams 2, Farris 2, Elam. Assists - (LTC 17) Cain 7, J. Williams 3, Bell 3, Jones 2, Enechionyia, K. Williams. (LLC 10) Robinson 7. Blocked shots - (LTC 1) Enechionyia. (LLC 2) Kuljuhovic, Weston.

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