Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Asbury Improves to 6-1 with High-Scoring Win Over Salem

Asbury University 109
Salem International 104

Final from Wilmore, Kentucky

Game recap by AU:

Wilmore, KY--Statistics can be deceiving. But they weren't tonight. The Eagles and Salem International all but matched each other in every significant category and, in a game that was ultimately determined by the Eagles' ability to make pressure free throws, the Eagles won the first-ever meeting between the two teams 109-104.

Kyle Lamb led the Eagles with 24 points featuring several clutch free throws down the stretch. CJ Penny added 19 points including a driving layup with 1:15 remaining to give the Eagles a 106-102 lead. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Tyler Smith was a force for Asbury with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The game was played at a breakneck pace with both teams racing up and down the floor. The Eagles opened up a double digit lead in the first half against Division II Salem but Salem's defensive pressure ate into the Eagles lead and by the end of the first half the Eagles' margin had been cut to two at 50-48.

At the half, each team had the same number of shots, 38, and the identical number of makes, 16. Each team had shot 18 free throws, each had made 13. Each team had also turned the ball over too much for each coach's liking. Asbury coughed it up 12 times in the first half to Salem's 10. The teams finished the game with 20 and 19 turnovers respectively.

The Eagles turned up the defensive pressure and regained control early in the second half. The pace also picked up. With 12:59 left, the Eagles led 72-61. But Salem pulled to within four with 7:30 remaining.

Lamb hit a three in transition to make it 91-87 Eagles. Penny made two free throws to give Asbury a 104-100. But Salem's Tyler Bell (14 points, seven rebounds) answered right back to bring his team to within two. Then came Penny's bucket, a miss by Salem, a rebound by Lamb and it appeared the Eagles could exhale. But a turnover at midcourt by Penny was followed by a Salem make by Matt Thomas and a Salem foul on Lamb, who calmly strode to the line. He made both free throws and iced the game.

The Eagles are now 6-1. Their next game is a rematch with Union College on Friday in Berea, KY. The Eagles beat Union 99-88 November 8th.

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