By Robbin Kiser
January 3, 2014
SIDNEY — Lehman was looking to win its first-ever Northwest Central Conference home game Friday night, but Lima Perry played the role of spoiler as the Commodores outscored the Cavaliers 20-9 over the final four minutes to pull out a 70-64 victory.
Perry improves to 7-2 overall and 3-0 in the NWCC while Lehman falls to 4-4 and 1-1.
The Commodores jumped out to an 8-2 lead thanks in part to six points from Bruce Hodges and a Jared Poling three-point play made it 13-4 with 1:41 remaining in the opening period.
Lehman, though, cut the deficit to 24-21 on back-to-back Jackson Frantz threes midway through the second quarter and the margin was 30-27 at the break following a Nick Rourke fast-break layup and a Greg Spearman basket in the final minute.
Perry hit 13 of 24 shots in the first half for 54 percent while the Cavaliers were 11 of 25 for 44 percent.
The Commodores led 50-45 before Lehman went in front for the first time since the initial basket of the game by scoring the first 10 points of the fourth quarter, including four each from Spearman and Frantz.
But just when it appeared that the Cavaliers had the momentum, Perry stole it right back with a 10-2 run of its own to go up 60-57.
Nathan Hall trimmed the margin to one on a layup with 1:47 to go and a Frantz free throw at the 1:07 mark made it 62-60, but Lehman would get no closer as the Commodores sealed the win on a Hodges layup and by hitting all six foul shot attempts down the stretch.
“I was pleased with our offense and the way we handled the ball tonight, but you can’t give up 70 points and hope to win,” said Lehman coach John Tollefson. “We have to make a commitment to playing better defense throughout the game, not just in spots.”
The Cavaliers, who had the same number of field goals as Perry and outscored the Commodores by one from the field overall (53-52), shot 45 percent for the game and only committed seven turnovers. Perry, however, shot 57 percent overall and was 18 of 24 at the stripe, including 12 of 13 in the fourth quarter, while Lehman was just 11 of 20 at the line.
“That was an impressive display by Perry,” said Tollefson. “Our scouting report had them as not a very good foul shooting team, but they were tonight and they cashed in on their opportunities.”
Spearman led the Cavaliers with a “double-double” of 21 points and 10 assists while Frantz added 18.
Lehman is at Franklin Monroe tonight.