ROME, Ga. --- Liam Macdonald set a school single-game record with six assists as Tusculum University scored 10 unanswered goals in the first half of a 20-6 victory at Shorter University in non-conference men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon.
Macdonald assisted on four straight goals during the Pioneers' first-half run and went on to break the program record of five assists in a game set twice previously. AJ Hems scored four goals, Kale Lawrence tallied three times, Keegan Bell had two goals and four assists and Braden Elam added two goals and two assists for the Pioneers (3-1), who outshot the Hawks 45-26 to earn their third straight victory.
Trey Edge scored four goals and Chris Woodard scored twice for the Hawks (0-5), who trailed 11-1 at halftime after being outshot 22-8 by Tusculum in the opening half. Shorter finished the game with 30 turnovers and had 14 failed clears in 33 attempts.
The teams were tied 1-1 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter when the Pioneers broke loose for five goals in a span of 3 minutes, 27 seconds. Lawrence, Will Cookman, Bell, Sean Dunn and Hems teamed up to give the Pioneers a 6-1 lead at the end of one quarter.
Tusculum continued its surge in the second quarter, outscoring Shorter by a 5-0 margin. Elam and Lawrence scored twice apiece for the Pioneers in the quarter, and Josh Pickford added a goal as the Pioneers built an 11-1 lead at intermission.
Shorter finally broke the Tusculum run on a man-up goal by Woodard in the first minute of the third quarter, but Pickford, Hems and Macdonald scored in a 54-second span to extend the Pioneer lead to 14-2. Nate Raymond and Joel Edgar pushed the Pioneers on top 16-2 with 8:26 left in the third quarter. Two goals from Edge brought the Hawks back within 16-4, but Hems netted his third of the day in the final minute to send Tusculum to the fourth quarter with a 17-4 lead.
A goal by Hems early in the fourth quarter was answered by the Hawks' Edge and Woodard, but Tusculum closed out the scoring on goals by Nash Johnson and Raymond in the final four minutes.
Ethan Bohannon went 8-for-10 on faceoffs and had a team-high six ground balls for the Pioneers, with Trey Carney contributing three ground balls and Connor Coleman two caused turnovers. Kincaid Dennis led the Hawks with four ground balls and Jordan Coates had a pair of caused turnovers.
Tusculum won 18 of the 29 faceoffs in the match and went 1-for-4 with the man advantage, while Coker was 2-for-7 with the extra man.
Tusculum will open its South Atlantic Conference schedule on Wednesday, March 6 at Mars Hill, beginning at 7 p.m.