Tuesday, February 13, 2018

James hits career high as Warriors fall to Flying Dutchmen

Junior Darius James scored a career-high 26 points against Lebanon Valley.
(Photo courtesy of Lycoming Sports Information)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Junior Darius James (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) netted a career-high 26 points and the 20th-ranked Lycoming College men’s basketball team nearly overcame a double-digit second-half deficit, but it fell to Lebanon Valley, 82-79, on Tuesday evening, Feb. 13 at Lamade Gym in MAC Commonwealth action.

The Warriors (19-5 overall, 10-5 MAC Commonwealth) still clinched at least a No. 3 seed in the MAC Commonwealth Championship and will play at Albright on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. with the winner clinching the top seed in the conference tournament.

Nineteen of James’ 26 points came after halftime and he hit all 11 of his free throws, grabbed eight rebounds, dealt four assists and blocked two shots. Sophomore Ronald Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Christ the King) notched 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Senior Chris Wallace (Randallstown, Md./Calvert Hall) added 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

The Warriors faced a 12-point deficit a little more than five minutes into the second half before chipping at the lead. Lycoming began to get out in the open court as it hit four straight layups, three of which were on the fastbreak, and James capped a quick 9-0 run with an and-one acrobatic fastbreak layup and his free throw tied the game at 56. Lebanon Valley came back with five quick points, before a jumper from Jefferson and four free throws from James got the Warriors within one with a little more than five minutes remaining.

The Flying Dutchmen (15-9 overall, 9-6 MAC Commonwealth) increased their lead to six with 2:20 remaining, but four straight Warriors’ free throws got them within two. The teams’ traded free throws on the next two possessions and James again hit two more shots from the charity stripe to make it a one-point game with 53 seconds to go. Lebanon Valley’s Caleb Barwin hit a big 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining and Lycoming hit its final four free throws, but Lebanon Valley hit 3-of-4 shots from the line in the final nine seconds to hang on for the close win.

In the opening 14 minutes of the game, neither team could build a lead bigger than four, but in the final three minutes, after Lebanon Valley held a 37-35 lead, they ended the first half on a 9-1 run to take a 46-36 advantage into the break.

Senior Alex Newbold (Bowie, Md./DeMatha Catholic) totaled nine points, six rebounds and five assists as the Warriors hit 25-of-29 free throws (86 percent), while also making 46 percent (25-of-55) shots from the field.

Andy Orr led Lebanon Valley with 31 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks and Sam Light added 16 points and four steals.

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