Top-Ranked Cougars Hold off Lyon College Challenge, 72-59

BATESVILLE, Ark. (Lyon) – The Lyon College Scots hung tough with the No. 1 team in the country for nearly 30 minutes on Saturday, but the Columbia College Cougars went on a 15-2 run over a span of 4:45 to pull away late and keep their record perfect on the year (20-0) with a 72-59 American Midwest Conference victory in Becknell Gymnasium.

Lyon (5-13, 2-5 AMC) had its two-game conference winning streak snapped with the setback, but the Scots hung tough early, hitting 56.5% (13-of-23) of their shots from the field in the first 20 minutes and trailed 35-31 at the break.

Columbia, which stayed one game ahead of William Woods (9-10, 5-1 AMC) in the conference race, improved to 6-0 in AMC play by hitting 48.1% (13-of-27) from the field in the final period, while limiting Lyon to just 33.3% (9-of-27), as the Cougars won the rebounding battle, 33-27, the turnover battle, 12-9, and outscored the Scots 37-28 to escape with the 13-point win.

The Cougars converted 28-of-56 (50%) from the field in the game, while LC hit 44% (22-of-50).

Four Columbia players scored in double figures. Jordan Dressler was on fire, hitting 8-of-11 from the field, finishing with 17 points and seven boards. Devin Griffin and Derrick Dilworth each dropped in 12 points and Tanner Sutton scored 10.

No Lyon players reached double-figure scoring. Jordan Layrock came off the Lyon bench to score nine points and grab three rebounds. Slater Belew, Kendall Leeks and Stephon Martinez each chipped in eight points. Daniel Ritchie and Marcus Williams both scored six, Rickey Thomas managed four and Ben Worlow and Jordan McAllister had two apiece.

Neither team was able to build a lead larger than five in the first half. The Cougars assumed a 23-18 lead with 5:41 remaining in the period, but the Scots pulled to within a pair, before going to the locker room down 35-31.

Columbia quickly widened the lead back to 10, 47-37, with 14:49 left in the game, but Lyon hung within striking distance until the 10-minute mark when the Cougars made their move.

Lyon College will try to bounce back on the road Thursday night when the Scots travel to Hannibal, Mo. to face Hannibal-LaGrange University (3-15, 0-6 AMC). The game will be the second half of a women/men doubleheader, tipping off at 7:30 p.m.