Lynx Pull Away Late To Spoil Opening Night With 78-74 Win Over Builders

Jay Melendez
Jay Melendez

FINAL SCORE: Lindenwood-Belleville 78, Apprentice School 74

RANKINGS: Lindenwood (#5), Apprentice School (#7)

RECORDS: Lindenwood-Belleville 13-7, Apprentice School 10-7

LOCATION: Apprentice Gym/MLK Classic

ON THE COURT: Craig Anderson and Garrett Gaffner scored 17 points apiece to lead four in double figures for NAIA Division I Lindenwood University-Belleville as they pulled away in the final minutes to take a 78-74 win over the Apprentice School in front of nearly 800 on Friday night in the MLK Classic.

In a game that saw nine ties and nine lead changes in the second half, the Builders opened the game strong as Dante Johnson tipped-in his own missed shot to take an 11-6 lead with 15:57 left in the half.  That advantage ballooned to 27-12 on a Jay Melendez layup with 8:58 left.

The Lynx snuck back into the game on the heels of a 16-1 run as a Brandon Ehlinger 3-pointer with 4:08 left tied the game 28-all.

In the second half, the teams no one had more than a four-point lead until the final 25 seconds as Brandon Ehlinger was 5-for-5 in the final 25 seconds to ice the win.

BEHIND THE BOXSCORE

  • Melendez was high-man on the night with 30 points and eight rebounds.  He was a career-best 7-for-10 from 3-point land, including a 4-point play hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing and was fouled that gave the Builders a 60-57 lead with 8:28 left.
  • Jamal Curry had another double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.  He showed his range hitting the other 3-pointer for the Builders tonight as they had eight on the game.
  • Johnnie Ferebee nearly recorded a triple-double with 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.  The eight rebounds matched a career-high for Ferebee who did that against Vermont Tech on Jan. 5, 2012 in a tournament at Ave Maria University.
  • Neither team shot well as Lindenwood was 22-of-72 (30.6%) and the Builders were 25-of-70 (35.7%).  Lindenwood made up for it on the foul line going 20-of-26 in the second half, while the Builders were 13-of-21.
  • Joining Anderson and Gaffner in double figures were Ehlinger and Darius Holman with 16 points each for Lindenwood.

RECORD BLISTERING

By hitting 7-of-10 from the 3-point arc tonight, Melendez set a school single-game record for 3-point percentage.  The previous record was Kendrick Hall (8-for-12) in 1999 vs. Wilmington (Del) and Michael Dunston going 6-for-9 against West Virginia State in 2004.

NEXT UP

The Builders get back on the new home floor tomorrow at 6 pm when they face Williamson Trade in the final game of the day.  Lindenwood will tangle with Barber-Scotia College at 4 pm.