BY CHRIS WELLS
Despite a strong comeback, Lincoln had no answer for Lake Washington’s Darien Nelson-Henry, as the seventh-ranked Abes fell 68-58 in the King Holiday Hoopfest Monday at the University of Washington.
Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton was less than pleased with his team’s performance.
“We played terrible,” Shelton said. “You have to give credit to Lake Washington. They totally exposed our biggest weakness, which is we can’t guard a big guy. So that’s something we absolutely have to work on.”
Nelson-Henry, a University of Pennsylvania commit, used his massive 6-foot-10 frame – four inches taller than any Lincoln player – to score a game-high 35 points, going 16-for-20 from the field. He also added 15 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
“He was a load,” Shelton said. “We couldn’t stop him. We tried to adjust our defenses a bunch, but we just weren’t ready. With a 9 a.m. game, you never know what you’re going to get and we got a bunch of sleepy guys that weren’t ready to play.”
With Nelson-Henry having his way against Lincoln, the Abes tried numerous defenses to stop him, but all efforts were futile.
“We mixed it up,” Shelton said. “We did a bunch of different things. We diamond-and-one, we 1-3-1, we did a bunch of different zones.”
Although Lincoln (11-3) trailed 25-8 in the first quarter, but bounced back in the next period, outscoring the Kangaroos 21-8 that cut the deficit to four. Despite the rally, the Abes were never able to capture the lead.
“We adjusted our defense and we stopped the turning the ball over as much,” Shelton said of the second quarter. “We were attacking and getting decent shots and knocked down some three’s. If we can take care of the ball and not give up so many layups, we could be OK.”
Junior guard Tre’Shaun Lexing scored a team-high 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and six assists.