SHINNSTON -- With only two minutes remaining in the third quarter of Wednesday's Lincoln-Philip Barbour contest, the Colts had just put together a 5-0 run and appeared to take command.
However, Lincoln coach Rob Hawkins called timeout, and changed the game's course.
Hawkins directed his team to abandon its man-to-man defense and go into a collapsing zone. The result was an impressive 18-4 run that led Lincoln to a 55-46 victory.
"I was hoping the change would take them out of their rhythm, and I think that happened," Hawkins said. They never really seemed to be in sync after that."
Lincoln held leads of 11-7 and 21-20 at the quarter breaks. But the third quarter produced eight lead changes before the decisive Cougar run. Evan Nuzum was particularly instrumental in the charge, scoring seven consecutive points that made a 33-31 Cougar margin a 38-33 Cougar advantage.
"Nuzum did a good job for his first varsity game," Hawkins said. "He kept his poise and made some big plays for us."
Nuzum led Lincoln with 15 points, followed by Wes Osbourn with 13 and Aaron Dragoo with 11. Dragoo and Adam Southern each produced a team-high 11 rebounds.
Philip Barbour was led junior Matt Summerfield, who produced a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was the season opener for both Big 10 schools.