Derrick Washington drives past a Johnson C. Smith defender in Lincoln’s 75-68. (Lincoln photo)
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. – Kenny Sharpe paced three players in double figures as the LincolnUniversity men’s basketball team knocked off Johnson C. Smith, 75-68, in the CIAA opener on Thursday night at Manuel Rivero Gymnasium
“This was a good confidence builder for our team,” Lincoln coach John Hill said. “Last year they came into our place and shot lights out. For us to step up and play hard and make some shots was outstanding. We have had a great start to the year and now with conference play, we get to see what we are made of. We are looking forward to the challenge.”
Sharpe finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal. George Jackson who sank three second-half 3-pointers, added 22 points, including going 6-of-6 from the foul line. Will Cole added 10 points and pulled down eight boards as the Lions (8-2 overall, 1-0 CIAA) shot 40 percent and held on to the top spot the CIAA’s Northern Division.
Johnson C. Smith (7-4, 0-1) led 21-18 after a Terrance Washington free throw with 7:13 remainingin the first half, but Lincoln controlled the final seven minutes by using a 16-9 run to take a 34-30 advantage into the break.
The Golden Bulls kept the game close and took a 40-37 lead after a Terrance Washington jumper with 14:41 left. The Lions answered as neither team grabbed an advantage larger than to points during the next seven minutes.
Jackson’s 3-pointer with 6:26 remaining gave Lincoln a 59-55 lead and sparked a 12-3 run, giving the Lions a commanding 68-58 advantage with 2:16 left.
Johnson C. Smith refused to go quietly and trimmed the deficit to 69-64 after a Robert Williams layup with 1:16 left, but Lincoln got key free throws down the stretch by Jackson to get the win.
Trevin Parks led the Golden Bulls with 23 points, including going 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. Emilio Parks chipped in with 19 points, while Williams and Terrance Washington each had nine points. Johnson C. Smith was 23-of-48 from the floor for 38 percent.
The Lions continue CIAA action 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 5 against Winston-Salem State University at Manuel Rivero Gymnasium in the CIAA Game of the Week. .