January 9, 2008

Lincoln returns to form; Downs Canarsie

Lincoln successfully bounced back - from a pair of losses at the Bojangles' Shootout in Charlotte, NC - on Tuesday night, beating Canarsie on the road, 60-44.


In a game oft delayed by scoreboard malfunction, the Railsplitters had little use for it, using their defense to frustrate the Chiefs, allowing only six points in the decisive fourth quarter.

Canarsie started off strongly, getting six early points on long-range jumpers from senior forward Elon Howard and staying even with Lincoln for most of the first quarter. The Chiefs, however, missed numerous open jumpers and free throws, failing to take a lead in the period, even while Lincoln superstar Lance Stephenson struggled.

Stephenson finally scored his first two points of the game with 2:18 remaining in the first, and then added another deuce with 14 seconds left to give Lincoln a 15-11 advantage after one.

Canarsie had a chance to seize the lead and considerable momentum with two minutes elapsed in the second quarter. With the Chiefs trailing 17-16, Howard followed a miss with a dunk, but the 6'7" forward was called for basket interference, much to the chagrin of the home crowd. Lincoln then proceeded to go on a 9-0 run - with seven coming from Stephenson - to take a 26-16 lead and control of the contest. The Railsplitters would head into halftime ahead 29-22.

Canarsie's crowd got involved early in the third quarter, when a long jumper by senior guard Rasheed Mickens cut the Lincoln lead to six, but Stephenson responded with a three to stretch the Railsplitter lead to nine.

The Chiefs once again looked to gain steam after a thunderous follow jam by senior Cody Paul and a steal by Howard, but senior Yves Jules, who had a horrendous night for Canarsie, threw the ball away on the ensuing break. Stephenson then converted a breakaway dunk to put Lincoln up, 37-28.

Canarsie fought back once or twice more, and cut the lead to 45-38 by the end of the third, but it was clear that the Chiefs had exhausted themselves to just play an even period - 16-16 - and that they'd eventually prove no match for Lincoln.

Lincoln, NYCHoops' 4th-ranked team, would shut the door on Canarsie in the fourth. The Railsplitters kept their composure through multiple delays caused by a scoreboard that repeatedly shut off, outscoring the Chiefs 15-6 in the final period. It took Canarsie until the 2:18 mark to finally score get on the board in the quarter, and by that time, Lincoln held a 15-point lead.

Leading the way for Lincoln (9-2) was Stephenson with 20 points, while Jules, his Canarsie (5-4) counterpart, could scratch out just seven. Topping the Chiefs in scoring was Howard, with 14.

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