Liptrot, Kennedy pace Lander past Allen, 73-52
GREENWOOD – Calvin Liptrot led Lander with 24 points and Jermel Kennedy posted a double-double as the Bearcats broke out of a halftime tie to beat Allen University 73-52 Wednesday night in a non-conference game at Horne Arena.
Lander improved to 8-11 overall, including 7-1 in non-conference games, and is now 16-0 all-time against the Yellow Jackets.
Allen fell to 6-11.
The game was tied at 28 at halftime, but the Bearcats outscored Allen 45-24 in the second half.
Liptrot fell one point shy of his career high 25 points set Jan. 5 at Francis Marion. He made nine of 16 shots from the floor and five of six free throws.
Jermel Kennedy added 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. David Pruett also scored 11 points for Lander while Mac Mitchell added a career-high eight points and five steals. Darion Canty also scored nine points.
Demetrice Terrell led the Yellow Jackets with 18 points, Richard Johnson scored 10 points, and Chavis Darby led Allen with nine rebounds. Anthony Gordon led the team with five assists.
The Bearcats took the lead for good during the first minute of the second half when Liptrot hit a jumper and a free throw on consecutive possessions, making it 31-28. Pruett's 3-pointer upped Lander's lead to 34-28.
After Johnson made a driving layup to pull Allen within 34-32 at the 17-minute mark, the Bearcats took control of the game with a 9-0 run. Quentin Bastian started the run with two free throws, Kennedy scored inside, and Liptrot hit a 3-pointer and a layup to extend Lander's lead to 43-32 with 14:54 to go.
Canty scored consecutive baskets, giving the Bearcats their largest lead of the game at 46-33 with 13:15 left. And the lead would continue to grow from there with Darius Carrier's reverse layup, Kennedy's basket in the paint, and Mitchell's breakaway layup giving Lander an 18-point lead, 56-38, at the 9:27 mark.
Mitchell made three of four free throws on consecutive possessions, expanding the Bearcat lead to 61-44 with seven minutes left. Liptrot's basket gave Lander its first 20-point lead of the game, 65-45, with 4:50 to go.
Liptrot made two free throws, expanding the lead to 21 points, 71-48, with 1:37 left.
Johnson and Terrell hit 3-pointers to stake Allen to an 8-2 lead. But Lander went on a 13-0 run, beginning with Pruett's 3-pointer and Bailey's two free throws. The Bearcats took their first lead at 9-8 on Kennedy's basket with 15:52 left.
Liptrot made a turn-around jumper and a driving layup, and Pruett added a jumper to complete the 13-0 run, making it 15-8 with 13:10 remaining.
Octavious Drakes scored inside to end Allen's five-minute scoring drought. Terrell's jump shot cut the Yellow Jackets' deficit to 20-18 with 7:38 left and his 3-pointer from the right corner tied it at 22-all with 5:07 to go.
Terrell hit another 3-pointer from the opposite side to give Allen its first lead since the opening minutes, 25-24, at the 3:50 mark, and Johnson's desperation 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring increased the Yellow Jackets' lead to 28-26 with 1:29 left in the half.
Lander's Mitchell made two free throws with 10 seconds left to tie the game at 28 going into the intermission.
For the game, Lander made 22 of 57 shots from the floor (39 percent), 25 of 32 free throws (78 percent), and four of 13 from 3-point range (31 percent) while out-rebounding Allen 43-37.
Allen hit 18 of 55 shots (33 percent), nine of 15 free throws (60 percent) and seven of 30 from behind the arc (23 percent).
The Bearcats forced 25 turnovers while committing 18, 12 coming in the first half.
Lander travels to Augusta State (19-1) on Saturday afternoon for a 3:30 game.