NEW YORK, NY - Lincoln won an emotional game pretty convincingly over Boys & Girls on Thursday.
Their next game was against Roberts Vaux, a school in Pennsylvania who features one of the best juniors in the nation in Rysheed Jordan. Theoretically, with a nationally recognized sophomore of their own in Isaiah Whitehead, it should have been a really good match-up.
Well, it was just a theory, because the reality was the game turned into more of a practice for Lincoln than anything else. The Railsplitters easily won, cruising to a 77-42 victory in the 9th Annual Big Apple Basketball Invitational that allowed the entire team to play a nice amount of minutes.
The game started out nip and tuck, with a lay-up by Jordan (14 points) to allow Vaux to tie the game at 10 with a minute left in the first quarter. That was the last time the game was close. Lincoln scored the last five points of the period, the last a three pointer from the right corner from Ian Vasquez. That was a theme for the night, Vasquez hit three straight three pointers in the second half as he shot 50% from behind the arc. Vasquez ended up scoring a game high 18 points and was named MVP for the Railsplitters.
The second quarter Lincoln only led 15-10, but a jump hook by Tafari WhittinghamL continued the run that had started at the end of the first. Whittingham scored again, muscling up a shot inside, and it was becoming evident that Lincoln was taking control.
One play that illustrated the exceptional defense Lincoln was playing was when junior guard Shaquille Davis stole the ball from a Vaux ball handler and threw the ball ahead to start a fast break. Whittingham ran down the ball and finished with a big dunk. Whittingham wasn't finished attacking the rim, following that transition dunk with another angry right handed power stuff off a rebound. His head was somewhere in the area of the rim.
Whitehead ended the 17-2 run with a follow-up basket of his own, and halfway through the second quarter Lincoln was on top 27-12. Eventually, Vaux was able to cut the lead to single digits, going into the half trailing Lincoln 31-22. They got as close as 33-25 early in the third quarter, but Lincoln didn't allow another point the rest of the period. The score at the third quarter buzzer was 59-25.
Whittingham made 7 out of 8 shots and finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Whitehead chipped in 11 points. Lincoln shot 50% from the field from the game and destroyed Roberts Vaux on the boards 38-24. It was such a dominant performance; Lincoln head coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton was able to get everyone in the game. Also, Lincoln got to sit all of their main rotation. That can only be a good thing when they play Jefferson in their next league game on Tuesday.
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