Longwood gutted out a 63-57 road win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon.
Isaiah Wilkins totaled a season-best 22 points to lead the Lancers on a night when the Lancers’ offense was out of sync for stretches. The senior went 9-of-14 from the floor and finished three points shy of his career high.
“Isaiah is a really talented, gifted player,” Longwood coach Griff Aldrich said. “It was fun to watch him be free and be able to score the ball so well. He adds so much for us when he’s able to put points on the board like that. He gives us such a critical weapon that we need.”
St. Francis Brooklyn (4-6) got 14 points from Rob Higgins and 10 points from Josiah Harris, but Longwood’s defense made the Terriers work for every point.
The Lancers held St. Francis Brooklyn to 35.7 percent shooting (20-of-56) from the floor and 20.8 percent (5-of-24) from three-point range.
“I was really proud of the guys for gutting out a win when they weren’t playing their best,” Aldrich said. “That’s the mark of a good team and a mature team, to have the character to fight through and still make the plays when you need to make them to come out on top. The guys did that tonight.
Longwood led by as much as 11 early in the second half after Wilkins canned a straightaway three, but the Terriers tied the score at 43 with a 9-0 run with nine minutes to play.
Wilkins went back to work and scored back-to-back buckets to stem the tide and help settle the Lancers. Walyn Napper hit a fastbreak layup, and Jesper Granlund drained a three from the wing off a Napper pass. Roy Clarke hit a bucket for St. Francis Brooklyn, but Wilkins again answered.
While St. Francis Brooklyn cut the lead to two multiple times in the final four minutes, Longwood had the answer every time. DeShaun Wade hit a shot with less than a minute to play to make it a two-possession game, and Napper hit both shots in a one-and-one that did the same thing.
Zac Watson also came up with a big block with less than 30 seconds left that preserved a four-point lead. He finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
The Lancers wrap up their five-game road trip with a matchup against The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.
Tip is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be aired on ESPN+ and on WVHL 92.9 Kickin’ Country.