Dan Carr, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
JEFFERSON CITY – Quinton Drayton poured in 25 points and Sai Witt scored 18 to go with nine rebounds as the Lincoln men’s basketball team beat Fort Hays State, 76-64, on Saturday. The win improves Lincoln to 5-0 in Jason Gym in 2020-21, 6-2 both overall and in conference play, and 2-0 since the calendar flipped to 2021. It was also Lincoln’s fourth-straight victory.
Witt also supplied two assists, a pair of steals and a block while Drayton had four boards to go with two steals. Yaniel Vidal and Ni’Sean Rigmaiden each scored 12, with Vidal tallying five steals, four rebounds and three assists. Rigmaiden, meanwhile, dished five assists and grabbed five rebounds.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, as Lincoln jumped out to a 9-2 lead, and held a 17-10 advantage before Fort Hays State (3-6, 3-6 MIAA) rallied with a 10-2 run to go ahead 20-19 with eight minutes to play until halftime. The Blue Tigers retook the lead, FHSU tied it back up at 25, then regained the advantage on a dunk by Witt off a dish from Cameron Potts. Fort Hays State hit a trey to go up, 28-27.
FHSU eventually built a five-point lead, but Vidal hit a three and Rigmaiden made two shots at the line before another Vidal trey gave Lincoln back the lead. The Blue Tigers held a 37-36 edge on the scoreboard going into the intermission, but FHSU opened the second half with a layup to go back up by one.
The second half mainly belonged to Lincoln, however, as the Blue Tigers held Fort Hays State to .375 shooting overall and .364 shooting from long range during the final 20 minutes. With 14:42 remaining, Drayton hit a shot from downtown to give LU a two-point lead, and Lincoln never looked back, taking a 13-point advantage with three minutes to play. Drayton scored 20 points in the second half, and Lincoln forced 17 total turnovers in the contest which resulted in 18 Blue Tiger points.
Potts had seven points, three assists and two steals, and Mekhi Kimble closed the scoring with two points, three boards, a steal and a pair of assists. Jordan Notch also represented Lincoln on the court, contributing a block and a rebound to the victorious effort.
Up next for Lincoln is a two-game road trip which begins on Thursday (Jan. 14) with a 7:30 p.m. CST contest in Wichita, Kan. against Newman.