Washington finally got out of its recent scoring slump as the Warriors put 61 on the board in a 61-55 win over Lincoln. In its previous three games, the Warriors averaged just 49.9 points per game including a season-low 40 points Tuesday at O’Gorman.
Part of that scoring surge was a result of who Washington (6-3) was facing as the Patriots play an up-tempo game. Lincoln averages 61 points per game and scored a season high 68 at Yankton in December.
“Lincoln is going to give up a lot of points because they play a high-possession game. They’re going to score a lot but they’re going to give up a lot,” Washington coach Craig Nelson said. “We try and slow it down a little, as does a team like O’Gorman because there’s a lot of bigs on the floor. Some teams play low-scoring games, but against Lincoln, you have a chance to get out and run in transition and run-and-gun. There’s probably 20 more possessions in this game than there was against O’Gorman.”
The Warriors were led in scoring by three players in double figures: Logan Uttecht (15), Topher Zahn (14) and Isaac Goeman (10). Goeman also added nine rebounds. Dillon Barrow had 15 points to lead the Patriots.
Washington led 33-26 at the half, at that point its largest lead of the game. A big chunk of that came from junior Zahn who hit four 3-pointers off the bench and led all scorers at the break with 12 points. Two of his first-half 3s came in the final minute, one from deep in the corner with a Lincoln hand in his face.
“I’ve never had a half quite like that,” Zahn said. “As much as you don’t want to do it sometimes and it’s a tough look, if you’re feeling pretty good and are open, you give a shot.”
Lincoln (3-4) rallied in the fourth quarter to make things interesting. The Warriors got the lead to as many as 19 with just seven seconds to play in the third quarter when Uttecht scored and was fouled to complete the traditional three-point play and a 50-31 lead.
Lincoln’s Kaleb Dobbs took the inbounds after the Uttecht free throw and launched a 25-foot prayer at the buzzer. The shot fell, and it helped Washington put together a fourth quarter that challenged Lincoln at the end.
The Patriots went on an 11-2 run to open the fourth quarter and got it to within seven at 52-45 when Barrow scored with 4:04 to play. Lincoln kept digging and cut it to four at 56-52 with just over a minute to play on a 3-pointer from Alex Glanzer.
“We got sloppy again there for a little bit, but they’re a team of runs,” Nelson said. “That type of team can get a 9-0 run in a hurry. They’re going to keep shooting 3s and it’s hard to keep a team down that shoots that many 3s and can get a run going quickly. We needed to calm down a little bit there and be more solid with the ball.”
After the Glanzer 3-pointer, Nelson and the Warriors used a timeout. They used every bit of the shot clock on their next possession. Senior Jack Talley hit a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key with 32 seconds remaining, lifting Washington’s lead to 59-52, essentially sealing the win.
Washington led the entire game but Lincoln tied it once in the opening half and later got it to within one with 1:23 to play when Christophe Bwana scored to make it 25-24. But Zahn answered with one of his four 3-pointers with one minute to play and hit another just 28 seconds later.
“He plays spot minutes for us on the varsity team, but it’s hard to keep your best shooter in the program off the floor,” Nelson said of Zahn. “When we see certain things, or if we know we’re in a rut, he needs to be in the game to get some of our offensive rhythm back. He was able to do that tonight.”
Diang Gatluak 3 2-3 9, Carson Coulter 1 0-0 3, Dillon Barrow 6 1-2 15, Alex Glanzer 3 2-3 9, Simon Higgason 2 1-2 7, Kaleb Dobbs 2 0-0 5, Christophe Bwana 1 3-3 5, Andrew Tverberg 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 9-13 55.
Landon Carda 1 2-2 4, Jack Talley 2 1-2 7, Isaac Goeman 5 0-0 10, Carter Klatt 1 2-2 4, Logan Uttecht 5 5-6 15, Topher Zahn 4 2-2 14, Seth Benson 1 0-0 2, Angel Arroyo 1 0-0 3, Zach Heins 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 13-14 61.
Lincoln 9 26 34 55
Washington 14 33 50 61
3-point goals – SFL 8 (Barrow 2, Higgason 2), SFW 6 (Zahn 4). Rebounds – SFL 26 (Gatluak 7), SFW 39 (Goeman 9). Assists – SFL 12 (Coulter 4), SFW 11 (Talley 2, Heins 2), Steals – SFL 8 (Higgason 3), SFW 7 (Uttecht 3). Blocked Shots – SFL 4 (Coulter 2), SFW 2 (Goeman 1, Heins 1). Turnovers – SFL 12, SFW 17. Total fouls – SFL 14, SFW 14. Fouled Out – Barrow (SFL).