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Lynx Men’s Basketball Finishes Fourth in Nation

It was an up and down inaugural season of basketball at Lindenwood Belleville, but, in the end, the Lynx finished fourth place in the nation at the USCAA National Championship Tournament in Uniontown, PA.

The team started off with a win at home against Lincoln Land Community College. But the Lynx stumbled as they made strides to form a more cohesive unit. They went 4-12 through the end of December but also showed signs of greater potential, winning matches with perennial NAIA powerhouses, Bethel University and McKendree.

By the beginning of 2011, the Lynx seemed to have formed an identity. The team was an astounding 10-3 going into the final USCAA reporting deadline and climbed all the way to seventh place in the final coaches’ poll standings.

The remarkable, quick turnaround vaulted the team to a No. 6 seed in the USCAA National Championship tournament. As a result, were given a tough first-round matchup with the No. 3-seeded Oakwood University.

The Lynx came out slow in their Elite 8-game, but quickly found their shooting stroke were tied 34-34 at the half. Lindenwood Belleville took command in the second half and lead by as many as 14 points, but Oakwood came on strong and cut the deficit to three points with just 31 seconds left.

But with 16 seconds remaining, LU–Belleville’s Todd Starks sank two crucial free throws to seal the victory.

The Lynx played their semifinal game against the No. 2-ranked Southern Virginia, and, while the team played another high-intensity game, the Lynx fell 60-50. The team had just 12 hours to prepare for the third place game against the No. 8 Spalding University.

Despite trailing by 15 points at the half, the Lynx actually took the lead with 1:48 left to play. But Spalding hit two late three-pointers to seal the fate of LU-Belleville and the Lynx fell 64-60.

Lindenwood Belleville finished the season 14-20, several of those losses coming against larger NAIA and NCAA Division II schools.

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