Lincoln falls to NW Missouri, but this was still a winning day

Lincoln fell to No. 1 Northwest Missouri State 75-57 on Saturday. (Tony Mullen/KRCG13)

JEFFERSON CITY --- As Saturday's game was getting ready to tip, Lincoln basketball had already won.

Sure, about two hours later, the Blue Tigers actually lost the game 75-57 to Northwest Missouri State, but don't get distracted by the details.

It's what you call losing the battle, but winning the war.

Because for those who have been around this program for a long time, they experienced a buzz and electricity in Jason Gym that hasn't been seen or felt in 40 years, harking back to the glory days of the irrepressible Harold Robertson in the late 1970s.

Robertson, if you didn't know, is Lincoln's all-time leading scorer with 2,551 points, which is also a total that's still second-best in MIAA history.

No 3-point line necessary, thanks.

John Moseley can't walk on water and he's not a miracle worker --- but he's close, considering how he's transformed this perennial embarrassment into a competitive contender.

Is embarrassment too strong? The five years prior to Moseley's arrival, the Blue Tigers were 19-111.

That would be embarrassing.

The Blue Tigers hadn't had a winning season since 2001-02 when Moseley took over as head coach in 2014. His first year was more of the same, 4-24, but now he's put together four straight winning seasons.

That had happened since? You guessed it, the Reign of Robertson four decades ago.

"It's been fun to see the excitement building," Moseley said. "Obviously, we're disappointed with the outcome today, but this group has a lot of basketball left to be played."

As we said, the Blue Tigers are winning the war, but this is a never-ending war that's never truly won.

But on this day, win or lose the game, they should have felt like winners.

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