MARIETTA, Ga. — The Lindenwood University-Belleville men's basketball team took on the host Life University Running Eagles on Saturday night in semifinal action at the A.I.I. Conference Tournament and dropped a 99-85 decision.
LU-Belleville's Craig Anderson led all scorers with 35 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Garrett Gaffner, a Breese Central graduate, picked up a double-double after finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Lawson Warren finished with 11 points and four rebounds. Chris Stevenson came off the bench and chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
Gaffner got the Lynx on the board first after a jumper just 15 seconds into the game. After a basket by the Running Eagles, Anderson picked up his first points of the game to give the Lynx a two point lead.
From there the Running Eagles went on an 11-0 run to take a nine point lead with 17:07 left in the half. The run was capped off by a three point basket from Philip Jenkins.
The Lynx battled back and cut the deficit to five after a jumper from Chris Stevenson. Anderson made a free throw with just over five minutes left in the half to cut the Running Eagles deficit to two. From there the Running Eagles went on an 11-2 run to extend their lead to 11.
Gaffner made one of two free throws with four seconds left to cut the deficit to six, but Latraius Mosely knocked a buzzer beater from half court to give the Running Eagles a nine-point lead at the break.
The Running Eagles extended their lead to 20 after a Jermille Fluker jumper, with 11:41 left in the game. The Lynx did not go away though. After trading baskets back and forth, the Lynx started to chip away at the Running Eagles lead. With 2:57 left in the game the Lynx cut the deficit to 10 after a three-pointer by Brandon Ehlinger but this was as close as they would get.
The Lynx finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field, 23 percent from beyond the three- point line, and 61 percent from the free throw line.
After the loss the Lynx fall to 22-8 on the season. The Running Eagles improve to 19-13. T
LU-Belleville still has a chance at making the 32-team field at the NAIA National Championships, by receiving an at large bid. The NAIA will announce the 32 team field at 8 p.m.Wednesday.