BATESVILLE, Ark. (LyonScots.com) – Lyon College, a team that has lived by the three-point shot all season long, ran into a squad that was red-hot from long-range Thursday night, as the Benedictine University at Springfield (Ill.) Bulldogs hit 62.5% (10-of-16) from behind the arc and that was enough to end the Scots' season, 73-72, in the AMC Postseason Tournament quarterfinal in James C. Becknell Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs (15-16), the No. 6-seed in the American Midwest Conference Postseason Tournament, will advance to battle No. 8-ranked and 2nd-seeded Freed-Hardeman University in one conference semifinal Saturday at 4 p.m. in Henderson, Tenn. FHU rolled past 10th-seeded Harris-Stowe on Thursday, 120-91.
In the other quarterfinal games on Thursday, No. 4-ranked and top-seeded Columbia topped 8th-seed William Woods, 79-65, and 4th-seeded Park University went to overtime to eliminate 5th-seeded Williams Baptist, 79-75. Columbia will host Park Saturday at 4 p.m. in the other semifinal.
Lyon College entered Thursday's game as the top three-point shooting team in the nation, hitting 44.9%, while also leading the nation in rebounds allowed per game (28.7). But those two areas hurt the Scots against the Bulldogs as Lyon converted just 36.8% (7-of-19) from behind the arc, while BU outrebounded the Scots, 31-24, as the Bulldogs posted 14 offensive rebounds in the game.
Lyon shot well from the field, converting 62.5% (15-of-24) in the second half after leading 35-33 at the break. But the Bulldogs, who made 43.8% (21-of-48) from the field for the game, were also hot in the second half, hitting 10-of-18 (55.6%).
The Scots fell behind early, trailing 10-4 with 3:45 gone and 25-17 at the 8:38 mark of the first half.
But Lyon went on a 14-4 run in a span of 4:24 to take a two-point lead, 31-29, with 4:14 left in the half.
After keeping the lead at the break, the Scots saw the 'Dogs go on a 16-8 run early in the second half to move ahead 49-43. Benedictine led by nine on four different occasions in the second half, the final time coming with 3:35 on the clock.
Lyon made one final run as senior Jordan Layrock (Paragould, Ark.) hit a shot in the paint and junior Ben Worlow (Mountain Home, Ark.), who tied his career high with 18 points, hit a pair of buckets in the lane. The second came with 2:13 remaining.
BU increased the lead to five, but junior Devonte Young (Beebe, Ark.) made 1-of-2 free throws and Worlow tipped in a Layrock miss with 39 seconds left to trim the deficit to 69-67.
But the Bulldogs were able to make 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute to stretch the lead to four and Young's three-pointer at the buzzer cut the deficit back to one.
Worlow, who led all Lyon scorers, added five rebounds and a pair of assists, while senior Stephon Martinez (Bonne Terre, Mo.) came off the bench to sink 4-of-7 three-pointers and finish with 14 points and three assists. He scored 12 of his points in the first half.
Junior Rickey Thomas (Little Rock, Ark.) also had double-figures off the bench, with 13 points and three assists, while sophomore Riley Jenkins scored 11 points and picked up three steals and Young scored 10 points, led the Lyon rebounders with eight and handed out four assists.
Layrock suffered with foul trouble most of his final game for Lyon and was held to six points and three blocked shots. The career blocked shot recorded-holder finished with a total of 103 blocks to hold the new mark.
Justin Smith paced Benedictine with 19 points, with 15 of those coming in the second half. He made 6-of-10 shots from the field and 2-of-4 from three-point territory. Nick Bennett converted 10-of-12 from the line for 17 points, to go along with six assists. Thomas Dillard scored 14 points and Myles Harvell finished with 13.
Five different Bulldogs made at least one three-pointer in the game.
AMERICAN MIDWEST CONFERENCE
MEN'S POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT
Benedictine University 73, Lyon College 72
Freed-Hardeman University 120, Harris-Stowe State University 91
Columbia College 79, William Woods University 65