Lincoln gets right to the points

Baltimore players figure prominently at Pa. school that topped 200-point mark last week

December 09, 2006|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun reporter

Lincoln (Pa.) University men's basketball coach Garfield Yuille and his players saw beforehand a recipe for a rout, but no one envisioned that the team would set a Division III scoring record against Ohio State-Marion last Saturday. The Lions won, 201-78.

"They were a backup team that wasn't really supposed to play," said Lions forward Dwight Dean (Cardinal Gibbons), referring to Ohio State-Marion. "They only had six players, and the biggest was about 6-2, maybe 6-3. We press every game no matter who we play. It just came together and we executed at will. Everybody [all 16 Lincoln players who dressed] got significant minutes."

Added senior guard Vincent Carter-Bey (Randallstown): "We executed off their mistakes, and just took it as a normal game. Our style is up and down, and we score a lot of points. Unfortunately, we scored so many."

Yuille, whose roster includes eight Baltimore-area products, said Ohio State-Marion was a late replacement for Wayne State, which had pulled out of the 25th annual Joe Manchin Classic at Salem International in Salem, W.Va.

After seeing the shortage of players and size on the opposing team, Yuille said he asked tournament officials whether the Lions could play the University of the District of Columbia - the fourth entrant in the event - instead but was denied. Ohio State-Marion, which was receiving a guarantee as a replacement, agreed to play.

Yuille has received a lot of negative feedback for running up the score in a game he said "seemed like a scrimmage. The score didn't mean anything. They were throwing the ball into our hands. I wish we had never played."

"We were just in a flow," Dean said. "Nobody really realized it was up to 200 points until the end of the game. And there wasn't like a big celebration afterward."

Ironically, the coach's emphasis entering the game was on defense, a facet of the Lions' game that had displeased him in a loss to Salem the previous night. And, only two of the regulars started. One starter, Thomas Hickson (Woodlawn), did not make the trip.

Sami Wylie made an NCAA-record 21 three-point shots and scored 69 points for the Lions (5-1), who are 10th in the Division III national poll. The 123-point margin was another NCAA record, and Lincoln also set division records for points in a half (104 in the second half), field goals attempted (141) and field goals made (79).

Carter-Bey, who played on a Randallstown state championship team in 2001, said Wylie "was just on and he came up with a crazy number. He didn't even know he had that much."

Afterward, Ohio State-Marion players went through the normal post-game handshakes.

"They just said, `Nice game.' There wasn't no hard feelings," said Carter-Bey, a defensive specialist and one of the key components of Lincoln's "Chaos Crew," akin to Nolan Richardson's "40 Minutes of Hell" at Arkansas.

The Lions are averaging 115.3 points, and have topped 90 points in five of their first six games.

"They knew our style. There wasn't any disrespect," added Dean, who scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 24 minutes, the most anyone from Lincoln played in the game. A transfer from South Carolina State, Dean is the team's second-leading scorer (23.2 ppg) and leading rebounder (7.8 rpg).

Yuille, whose assistant Brian Winfield is from Baltimore, coached Amateur Athletic Union ball in the city, hence his connection to the talent here. Lincoln is in southern Chester County, about 60 miles northeast of Baltimore. Yuille has a 51-13 record at Lincoln - the alma mater of Thurgood Marshall - in two-plus years.

The Lions return to action today at Ramapo (N.J.) after a week off for exams.

kent baker@baltsun.com

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