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February 3, 2008

Lincoln Demolishes Cardozo; Wins SNY

Friday night against Kennedy, NYC Hoops #3 Lincoln had to sweat for about a quarter. Saturday versus Cardozo, the Railsplitters waited a whole half before they buried their opponent.

Once they did so, however, they were even more impressive than they were the previous night.

Lincoln used a 49-point second half - in which it shot over 71 percent from the floor - to crush Cardozo, 86-55, in the SNY Invitational Championship at NYU.

The Railsplitters, who had a distinct size advantage over Cardozo, didn't even need to use their big men much in dismissing the Judges. Lincoln got 52 combined points on 21-of-28 shooting from guards Lance Stephenson and Darwin "Buddha" Ellis.

The Coney Island powerhouse jumped out to a 6-0 lead early, but Cardozo, playing unafraid behind a supportive crowd, responded. The Judges used three steals and swarming defense to go on a 12-4 run and take a two-point lead with 40 seconds left in the first.

Stephenson then brought the crowd to its feet by throwing down a thunderous dunk over Cardozo forward Edy Toussaint and drawing a foul on the play. The superstar junior converted the free throw, and later split a pair at the line to put Lincoln up 14-12 after one.

A three by guard Trinity Fields brought Cardozo within a point, 18-17 with 6:49 left in the second. Stephenson though, punched in consecutive dunks after a James Padgett free throw, putting Lincoln back up six.

The Railsplitters then went ahead by as many as nine, but a follow by Cardozo guard Dennis Oglesby II made it 31-26 Lincoln with 1:15 remaining in the half.

Ellis though, canned consecutive threes on the next two Lincoln possessions to stretch the Railsplitter lead to 11. A driving lay-up by Toussaint at the halftime buzzer cut the advantage to 37-28.

Lincoln wasted no time taking control in the third, going on a 7-0 run in the first 1:31 of the period to go up 16. A lay-up by Toussaint made it 47-33 with 5:16 left in the quarter, but Stephenson and Ellis hit back-to-back threes to put Lincoln ahead by 20.

Fields drained a three with 1:20 to go in the third to slice the Lincoln lead down to 57-43, but the Railsplitters then scored 12 straight to take a 26-point lead with 6:17 left in the fourth.

Stephenson played one of his best games of the season, scoring 28 points and grabbing 13 boards. Ellis' performance, however, was just as key for the Railsplitters. The junior point guard scored 24 on 10-for-13 shooting and committed just one turnover.
"I got on him really hard," said Lincoln coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton after the game, "because he gets frustrated over very minor things, and he stepped up."

Overall, Lincoln shot 64 percent from the field and 7-for-13 from three, while limiting Cardozo to 33 percent shooting.

Lincoln improves to 19-2 on the season, and is playing its best basketball heading into Tuesday's monster showdown at NYC Hoops #5 Boys & Girls.


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