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Smith guides LWC Men's Basketball to 80-77 win over Bethel

By Christopher Coombs

McKenzie, TN - Josh Smith poured in a career-high 28 points in the Blue Raiders 80-77 Mid-South Conference win over Bethel (TN) on Thursday evening at Crisp Arena.

Following a strong first half from the Blue Raiders (5-11, 3-10 MSC), LWC added to their lead over the first eight minutes of the second frame to take a 58-50 lead with 12 minutes to play. Just three minutes later the Blue Raiders lead vanished with an 11-2 Bethel (9-10, 3-10 MSC) scoring spurt.

After trading buckets to the 6:04 mark of the half, Lindsey Wilson's Travez Nyx cashed in on a deep three, giving back the lead to LWC at 65-64. The shot spurred on a 10-0 run by the Blue Raiders to give them a comfortable eight-point lead with four minutes to play.

Bethel kept knocking on the door, cutting the LWC lead down to three points multiple times over the waning minutes. The Wildcats Jarred Walker connected on a three with two seconds to play to trim the LWC lead to two points at 79-77. Ryan Friday pushed the Lindsey Wilson lead to three at the charity stripe moments later before Bethel's final half-court heave sailed wide.

Smith managed 19 points in the first half, including knocking down a jumper at the 3:27 mark of the half to give the Blue Raiders their largest lead of the game at 11 points. He was just one rebound shy of his first double-double after grabbing a team-high nine boards. Ultimately, Lindsey Wilson took a 43-37 lead into the halftime locker room.

The Blue Raiders were efficient in the half connection on 18-of-36 shots while dominating the paint with a 33-17 advantage in the high percentage area.

Payton Cundiff finished with 15 points and five rebounds as Elijah Jordan came off the bench for 14 points. Friday added 12 points and five boards in the winning effort.

Lindsey Wilson shot 45.3 percent from the floor while limiting the Wildcats to a 36.4 mark.

Jamarius Mayberry recorded a team-high 18 points as Jon Brown grabbed 10 boards.

The Blue Raiders next take on Freed-Hardeman (TN) at Biggers Sports Center, 360 Spickard Drive, Columbia, KY on Saturday, January 30, 2021. Tipoff is slated for 4pmCT.

This story was posted on 2021-01-29 06:50:39
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