Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lions Win on Shot in Final Seconds

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lions Win on Shot in Final Seconds

Article excerpt

The Lindenwood College men's basketball team has had its ups and downs this season.

Monday, the Lions were sky-high.

Thanks to a last-second rebound basket by freshman center Geoff Zikas, the Lions edged visiting Iowa Wesleyan College 77-75 Monday at the Lindenwood Athletic Complex in Bridgeton.

"We were down seven at half and could've easily folded up the tents - we've done it at other times this season," Lindenwood coach Rick Kestner said. "We dug ourselves a pretty good hole in that first half, but instead of giving in, we really came out and played a strong second half. And I'm really happy for Geoff.

"He's basically been thrown to the wolves this year. He's had some good games and some bad ones. But he's gained a lot of experience and tonight, he won the ballgame for us."

The victory was the first in American Midwest Conference play this season for the Lions, who improved to 6-12 overall and 1-1 in league play.

"We've let some games get away from us this season, but tonight we didn't let that happen," Kestner said. "The guys dug down and really showed me a lot in that second half. We played the kind of basketball we need to play if we hope to be successful."

Kestner continued, "With our limited depth and size, we have to be ready to play mentally each and every night. If we have two or three guys who aren't ready to play, we're not going to to win - it's that simple.

"And, as I've said all season, defense is the key for us. We're not going to blow anybody out, so naturally, our success depends on our ability to stop the other guy. If we're getting after it on defense, we can play with anyone on our schedule. But if we go out and try to rely on our shooting to carry us, we're going to have a tough time competing."

The Lions received some excellent balance Monday, getting 23 points from Brandon Braswell, 17 from Eddie Gunns and 15 from Brian Lloyd. Zikas and Dave Bauer chipped in with 11 points apiece.

"We haven't had balance like that this season," Kestner said. "In most games, it's been Braswell and Gunns and maybe one other guy. But having five guys in double figures is exactly what we've been looking for."

In other recent games, the Lions fell 94-69 at Park College in Kansas City last week and 67-65 to Eureka (Ill. …

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