Lamb Leads Charge over Colonels
With AsburyEagles.com writer Matthew Hunter
WILMORE, Ky. - A late bucket from the Eagles’ Austin Flannery on a perfect pass from CJ Penny on an inbounds play sparked the hosts late as Asbury knocked off the Colonels from Centre College on Tuesday night with a score of 87-81.
Flannery and Penny hooked up for a momentum-deadening bucket on the inbounds play with just 55 seconds to play. The bucket gave the Eagles an 81-79 lead—one they wouldn’t relinquish—and stopped a push from the Colonels who had taken the lead just minutes after trailing by as much as eight.
The Eagles would need to be perfect at the free throw line for the rest of the contest and they were, topping Centre for the first time in head coach Will Shouse’s tenure at the helm (1-6 all-time).
The game started somewhat slow as Centre took an 8-4 lead six minutes in, which led Asbury to burn their first timeout. The 8-4 lead was credited to Centre’s offensive execution, but also a little cold shooting to start for the Eagles.
The slow start led Asbury head coach Will Shouse to turn to senior Austin Flannery off the bench to provide a spark. From there, Asbury (5-2) hit two 3-pointers in a row from Flannery and sophomore, Kyle Lamb. The three’s and an “and-one” started a 15-3 run for the host Eagles to get back into the game and take a lead.
From then on, both teams traded runs, which led to the 41-36 halftime score that favored Asbury. The Colonels’ junior Josh Karsner, who has scored 14.4 points a game off the bench for Centre this season, led all scorers with 12 points at the half. AU had a balanced scoring attack in the first 20 minutes with 11 from Lamb, 12 from Flannery— including 3-of-4 from downtown, and eight from senior Cam Richardson. Fellow senior, Lee’Vaughn Morris saw limited action for most of the first half after collecting two early fouls.
Centre (4-2) came out of the break scorching hot with a 14-5 run to take over the lead, 50-46. However, it would not take long for the Eagles to respond, trimming the lead to just one right before the first timeout of the half.
Junior CJ Penny—who had a quiet first 20 minutes—started warming up in the second half. Penny notched yet another double-double in the game (13 points, 15 rebounds) just about midway through the second half. After a string of offensive runs from the respective teams, AU started building a lead and called a timeout with six minutes remaining as the pulled ahead for a 76-69 lead. Following the timeout the visitors responded with their own an 8-1 run to tie the game at 77 apiece with just three minutes to go.
Another bucket from the Colonels gave them a two point lead which led to another timeout from the hosts. Asbury would regain their composure out of the timeout and took control of the game when they made two consecutive layups to pull ahead 81-79 with 55 seconds to play. Subsequently, the Eagles made the most important stop of the game on their next defensive possession, forcing Centre to foul Asbury’s Morris. He showed composure and confidence by knocking down the two freebees to take an 83-79 lead.
The Colonels wouldn’t go away so easy however. Karsner proceeded with a bucket and a foul on the other end of the floor, but couldn’t convert the one as he missed the free throw making it 83-81. Asbury would continue their clutch free throw shooting to end the game with four straight from the charity stripe and ultimately the 87-81 victory.
Lamb filled up the stat sheet posting team-highs in points (22), and assists (4). He also had four rebounds from the guard position. Penny also had a solid 13 and 15 night. Other top scorers for the Eagles included Richardson (18), Morris (11), and Flannery (12).
Neither team shot well from the line as the Eagles went 19-of-29 and the Colonels were just 11-of-17.
Asbury’s next two home games come in a span of two days as they take on Ohio Christian University on Friday at 8 p.m. and Welch College on Saturday at 6 p.m.; both here in the Luce.