MCKENZIE, Tenn. (LyonScots.com) – The Lyon College men's basketball team dug themselves into an 18-point second-half hole Friday night and didn't have enough firepower to climb out as the Scots dropped a 68-58 setback to Tennessee Temple University in the opening round of the McDonald's Classic in Crisp Arena.
The loss overshadowed a big night by Lyon senior forward Jordan Layrock (Paragould, Ark.), who finished the contest with 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Layrock was the 'go-to' guy for the Scots (0-3), as he took 21 shots in the game and made 6-of-13 from the free throw line.
The Scots hurt themselves in the second half by committing nine of their 15 turnovers and lost the game despite outrebounding Tennessee Temple 36-30. Lyon improved its shooting from 34.8% (8-of-23) in the first half to 46.2% (12-of-26) in the final 20 minutes to finish the game with a shooting percentage of 40.8%
Lyon junior Devonte Young (Beebe, Ark.) scored seven second-half points to finish with 11 points and three assists. Juniors Filip Gujanicic (Belgrade, Serbia) and Kendall Leeks both knocked down nine points, as Leeks added five rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal. Brock Widders scored six points, picked up four rebounds and dished out four assists.
The Scots played the game without starters Riley Jenkins and Rickey Thomas, who were nursing injuries.
The Crusaders (3-0), who only turned the ball over nine times all night, were led by Elliot Johnson, who cashed in 6-of-12 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from behind the three-point arc and 6-of-10 from the line for 20 points. He added four rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Rashaud Bell also converted 6-of-12 from the field, adding 14 points and eight boards.
Jalen Smith was near double-figure scoring with nine points and three steals, while Weedlens Beauvil scored eight points and added four assists and three boards.
Like they did Tuesday night in their 67-45 loss to Blue Mountain, the Scots started off fast. Layrock's jumper in the paint gave Lyon a 6-0 lead with only 2:28 gone in the contest. Tennessee Temple then went on a 13-4 run over the next 6:05 to take a 13-10 lead.
Neither team led by more than three points throughout most of the final 11:27 of the half and Lyon tied the score at 25-25 with 2:29 on the clock. The Crusaders built a 30-26 lead with 1:19 on the clock, and after the Scots cut the deficit to a pair, Weedlens Beauvil hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give TTU a 33-28 advantage at the break.
Despite warming up from the field, the Scots suffered turnovers in the early going of the second half and the Crusaders went on a 15-2 run over the first 5:53 of the half to create their largest lead of the game, 48-30.
The Scots continued to battle back, cutting the deficit to 55-48 with 5:44 remaining and gave Lyon College a shot at making the comeback. But Tennessee Temple scored the next three points to create a double-digit lead and the Scots were never able to creep closer than eight the rest of the way.