SALISBURY, N.C. — Three players scored 20 or more points for the 10th-ranked Railsplitters, who raced past the Catawba College Indians in the second half to capture a 111-90 victory in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday.
The Railsplitters (15-1, 11-1 SAC) won their 11th-straight game and avenged a 73-63 loss to Catawba (5-11, 5-7 SAC) during the 2012-13 campaign. That loss on Feb. 2 was LMU’s last defeat away from Tex Turner Arena, as the Railsplitters extended the nation’s second-longest road winning streak to 11 games. The Railsplitters also gained further traction atop the South Atlantic Conference standings, jumping out to a three-game lead following Newberry’s loss to Carson-Newman.
LMU senior guard Chance Jones continued his recent tear, matching a game-high mark with 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting with a 2-for-3 clip from beyond the three-point arc. Jones added five rebounds, three assists and two steals to his stat ledger. Jones has tallied 17 or more points in four-consecutive games including a career-best 30 points in LMU’s win over Mars Hill on Wednesday.
Redshirt-freshman Curtis McMillion matched Jones’ effort and provided his third double-double of the season in 28 minutes off the bench, recording 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Three additional Railsplitters crossed the double-digit scoring plateau, keyed by senior Vincent Bailey’s 20-point outburst on 8-of-12 shooting. Bailey also grabbed five rebounds in only 15 foul-plagued minutes. Junior Lorenza Ross posted 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and Luquon Choice contributed 10 points. Redshirt-freshman Paul Woodson added some juice for the Railsplitters on the glass, grabbing nine boards in only 18 minutes off the bench.
The Railsplitters racked up the program’s most prolific offensive output since pouring out 131 points against Mars Hill last January, and LMU reached that mark with a 41-for-72 clip (56.9 percent) from the field and a 25-for-36 effort from the free-throw line. Lincoln Memorial collected a monster 53-30 edge on the glass, as four of LMU’s starting five grabbed at least five rebounds. LMU’s 19 offensive rebounds, which accounted for 25 second-chance points, were the second-most for the Railsplitters during the 2013-14 season.
Catawba finished with the most productive outing allowed by the Railsplitters this season, hoisting 70 shot attempts and making 29 of them to accumulate 90 points. The Indians also went 25-for-40 at the free-throw line, recording the highest number of free-throw attempts for an LMU opponent since February 2010.
Reggie Perkins paced Catawba with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting with a 7-for-8 clip at the charity stripe. Kijuan Arrington pitched in 16 points with five rebounds and five steals, while Elon Edwards added 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Tyrece Little and Andrew Ingram contributed 11 points apiece for the Indians. Little and Julian Sampah led Catawba in rebounding with five apiece.
The two teams combined to draw 47 fouls in the contest and launch 76 free-throw attempts. Both the Railsplitters and the Indians used a significant number of players to absorb the high volume of foul calls, as LMU used 11 and Catawba saw 14 guys log time on the court.
For the second game in a row, the Railsplitters used a big second-half swing to win by an overwhelming margin. The Indians held sway for much of the first half, opening up a 34-29 advantage with a pair of Vismantas Marijosiu free throws at the five-minute mark. Catawba clung to that lead briefly before LMU began to chip away, tying the game at 46-46 on a McMillion three-point play and taking the lead as time expired on a tip-in for Ross.
The Railsplitters never trailed for the remainder of the contest, opening up a 67-57 advantage as regulation neared the 13-minute mark. LMU continued to plow ahead, using a Jones jumper with 9:36 on the clock to widen the gap to 79-62. The Railsplitters would not lead by less than 11 points over the final nine minutes of action, and that came at the 4:46 mark following an Ingram free throw that made it an 88-77 game. But LMU outscored the Indians 23-13 following that score to end the game with a 21-point triumph.
Lincoln Memorial returns to the court on Wednesday at Brevard (N.C.) for an 8 p.m. tip-off.