LEBANON — For the second consecutive game, McKendree University junior guard Clinton Happe scored 26 points in leading the Bearcats to a 69-53 home victory Tuesday over Lincoln Christian University.
Happe netted 17 of his 26 points in the second half to match his career-high, set just six days ago in a win over Lincoln University. McKendree improves to 2-3 overall with Tuesday's victory, and will continue its six-game home stand by hosting Trevecca Nazarene University on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Harry M. Statham Sports Center.
Senior guard John Steppe recorded a double-double for McKendree with 22 points and a game-high 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the contest. With his 22-point effort, Steppe moved up five spots on the Bearcats' all-time scoring list and sits in a tie for 40th place with Shawn Byrne at 1,050 points. Sophomore guard Mike DiGregorio dished out a game-high five assists in the effort for McKendree.
fter holding a 27-14 lead at the half, McKendree was able to hold off a pesky Lincoln Christian squad by shooting 50 percent from the floor (13-of-26) in the final 20 minutes of play. The Bearcats also converted 21 Red Lions' turnovers into 25 points in the game.
McKendree scored the first 10 points of the evening and eventually built a 23-8 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first half. The Bearcats eventually pushed the margin to 16 points before Lincoln Christian (2-4) pulled within 13 points at the half. The Red Lions used a three-pointer from Brady Cremeens for the first points of the second half to trim the deficit to 27-17.
A lay-up from Happe followed by a basket and two free throws from Steppe quickly stretched the Bearcats' lead back to 33-17 as McKendree began to take charge of the contest. Steppe hit two more free throws with 5:05 remaining to give the Bearcats their largest lead of the night at 60-39. Lincoln Christian made one final push, trimming the deficit to 14 points with just over a minute to play.
Cremeens led the Red Lions with 15 points, while David Graves came off the bench to post 14 points and eight rebounds.