Lincoln Trail College sophomore forward Ferlandis Penny broke a 61-all tie with just over two minutes remaining, and the Statesmen defeated Southwestern Illinois College 74-69 on Wednesday in a Great Rivers Athletic Conference game.
In search of its third straight win, SWIC (9-12), which trailed for much of the second half, tied the game at 61 with 3:27 remaining on a free throw by freshman Jaalam Hill.
But when Penny hit his 15-foot jumper from the free-throw line, it gave the Statesmen the lead for good.
“We just didn’t play hard, and we didn’t follow the game plan,” Blue Storm coach Jay Harrington said. “We had won two in a row by doing what we were told, and tonight we didn’t. As a result, we got beat. It’s that simple.”
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Following Penny’s go-ahead basket, the Blue Storm committed back-to-back turnovers, and when Lincoln Trail’s Dexter Thompson connected on a 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining, the lead was 66-61.
Sophomore Bryant Givens then hit two free throws seven seconds later to increase the Statesmen’s lead to seven points, and SWIC would get no closer than five points the rest of the game.
Givens led Lincoln Trail with 25 points, and Penny added 12. SWIC sophomore Darrin Jenkins led all scorers with 33 points. Hill added 23.
In the women’s game
SWIC 49, Lincoln Trail 42
Sophomore Kayleigh Thurwalker gave the Blue Storm (6-11) the lead for good with a 3-point basket with just under five minutes remaining as SWIC broke a seven-game losing streak with a win over the Stateswomen.
Continuing to struggle on the offensive end of the floor, SWIC managed only 18 points combined in the second and third quarters. But it used Thurwalker’s go-ahead 3-pointer and clutch free-throw shooting to post a rare win at home.
The Blue Storm made 7 of 8 from the foul line in the final three minutes to clinch the win.
“That was good to see because we usually don’t shoot free throws that well,” Blue Storm coach Mike Juenger said. “We struggle to score points, and so we need to do things right in order to win games. We didn’t do everything right tonight, but we did enough. We needed a win.”
Sophomore Analiese Osborne led SWIC with nine points.