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Thursday May 26th, 2016 2:56AM

Turnovers sink Lions in 98-78 loss at Maryville College

By staff reports
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE -- The Piedmont College men's basketball team fell by 20 points earlier this afternoon at USA South member Maryville College dropping a 98-78 decision on the road. Piedmont turned the ball over 21 times compared to just ten for the home team as the young Lions struggled with ball security in a hostile league environment.<br /> <br /> With five freshmen starting on the floor for first-year Head Coach Greg Neeley, Piedmont took its only lead of the game early going up 5-3 on a three-point play the old fashioned way by youngster Jordyn Propst. However, a three-pointer from Maryville's Christian Ford helped the home team take the lead for good as the Scots went back in front.<br /> <br /> The Lions did stay step-for-step with their hosts for the opening of the first half trailing by just one at the midway point following a jump shot from Jessie Jenkins in the paint. An 11-4 run from Maryville though would push their margin to seven points with just over seven minutes remaining before halftime as Logan Brewer's layup made the score 31-24, Scots in front on the next possession.<br /> <br /> It was then that PC would have troubles with ball control turning the ball over five times in the final six minutes of the half to allow Maryville to build an 18-point lead at 48-30 as the Lions only scored four points in the final 5:17 of the opening period. Maryville scored 32 points off 21 Piedmont turnovers in the game including 21 such points in the second half.<br /> <br /> Piedmont was also plagued beyond the three-point line in the first half not connecting on a single try from downtown in the opening period going 0-for-6. It wasn't until Austin Pearson hit a tri-fect with 9:43 remaining in the second half that Piedmont would connect on a three-point attempt, a point by which Maryville had already built a 26 point cushion. <br /> <br /> Maryville's lead never dropped below 20 points in the second half, a margin that would be the final difference between the two as well with the Scots taking a 98-78 decision at home. The 98 points allowed is the second-most allowed this season by the Lions tying a 98-point mark in a 98-94 loss to Transylvania earlier in the season. <br /> <br /> Three Lions scored in double figures topped by Chris Meeks' 16 points on seven of 11 shooting as the sophomore tallied a double-double in the loss with his 13 boards, a season high that also ties the top mark by a Lion in that category this season. That other 13 rebound performance came from Jenkins on opening night in a road win over Earlham College. Meeks' 16 points scored is also a season-high for the Savannah native who scored in double-figures for the first time since a December 18th contest against Capital.<br /> <br /> Pulling down nine rebounds to follow Meeks in that column was freshman Brian Edwards also tallied double digits with his 12 points, six of which came at the charity stripe. Meeks and Edwards combined for 22 of PC's 45 rebounds on the afternoon.<br /> <br /> Edwards' classmate Jordyn Propst also scored in double digits with his 11 on five of eight shooting as he continues his recent success having scored in double figures in three of his last four games. That stretch started with his career-high 19 in a loss at Greensboro College two weeks ago.<br /> <br /> The loss puts Piedmont now at 7-10 overall on the season and drops the Lions to 2-5 in conference play. The Lions have lost five of their last six contests, all six of which have come in USA South play.
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