Behind MarTavian Payne’s single game record 43 points, the Lindenwood University-Belleville men’s basketball team rolled past Haskell Indian Nations, 109-92.
LU-Belleville (2-0), shot an impressive 58 percent from the floor, 55 percent from downtown and hit 66.7 percent of its shots from the charity-stripe.
Payne, a St. Louis native, breaks the previous record of 41 points set back in 2013 by Todd Starks.
The University of Missouri transfer finished 15-of-17 from the floor and went a perfect 6-of-6 from beyond-the-arc. Through two games, even though its a small sample size Payne is making his presence known, averaging 36.0 points per game.
Sean McGee continues to provide a huge spark off the bench, totaling a season-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting. David Shepard had himself a breakout outing with 14 points and a season-high 17 boards, while Joey De La Rosamade an impact on the inside with 10 points.
On the other side of the court, the Indians (0-3) hung with the Lynx as they shot 48.6 percent of its shots from the floor. Leading the way was George Hill as he scored a team-high 24 points on 8-13 shooting, including going 7-of-10 from three.
Kelvin Nez added 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Bryon Elledge (13), T’salidi Seqouia (12) and Aquino Brinson (11) reached double-digits in points as well.
In the first half, the Lynx came out firing, grabbing a 20-12 lead on Payne’s bucket in the paint. Later, at the 10:11 mark, Devon Friend got his own rebound and scored the put-back to extend the teams’ advantage out to 28-19.
Over the next six minutes, LU-Belleville’s offense took over, going on a 17-9 run, capped off by Payne’s 3-pointer which gave them a 45-28 lead with 4:23 on the clock.
HINU continued to battle, however, as Hill’s basket off a turnover at 1:59 cut the deficit down to just 46-37. The Lynx weren’t phased though, closing out the final two minutes of play on a 9-2 run, giving them a 55-39 lead going into the break.
After committing 27 turnovers in its home opener the Lynx improved drastically tonight as they held themselves to just seven in the opening 20:00 minutes.
The Lynx couldn’t miss in the first half, going 22-of-34 (64.7 percent) and were led by Payne’s 29 points on his 11-of-11 shooting from the field. Haskell, meanwhile, didn’t play a bad first half as they sank 50.0 percent of its shots and were paced by Hill’s 11 points.
In the second half, the Indians started to chip away at the Lynx advantage, narrowing it down to 62-53 with 15:44 to go after Elledge made his two pointer off a turnover.
In just over a minute, however, the Lynx got its double-digit lead back at 16 (69-53) after Payne made his jumper in the paint.
As the clock continued to tick away, LU-Belleville held onto its double-digit lead but the Indians wouldn’t let the game get away from them as they cut it back to nine (82-71) at the 7:01 mark.
They’d narrow it down to eight with a little over four minutes left, but that’d be as close as they’d get with the Lynx hitting key baskets and its free throws as they went on for the 17-point win.
The team will return to action this Saturday on the road as they’ll look for the season sweep against Fisk University. Tip-off begins at 4 p.m.