BREVARD, N.C. — Seniors Vincent Bailey and Chance Jones combined for 58 points on Thursday, leading the eighth-ranked Railsplitters to a 96-75 win at Brevard in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action.
Lincoln Memorial University (16-1, 12-1 SAC) wins its 12th-straight game and improves to 12-3 in the all-time series against Brevard (3-14, 3-10 SAC), who dropped its sixth straight on Thursday.
The Railsplitters topped the 90-point plateau for the seventh time and shot better than 60 percent from the field for the third time, accumulating 96 points on 62.1 percent (36-for-58) shooting. LMU’s offensive productivity was bolstered by an efficient 21-for-26 clip at the free-throw line.
Bailey’s scintillating outing carried the Railsplitters to victory, as the Jennings, Fla., native poured in a career-high 35 points on 14-of-20 shooting to go along with 15 rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes of action. Bailey nearly out-rebounded the Tornado by himself, as Brevard only collected 18 boards as a unit. Bailey’s offensive numbers were embellished with a perfect 7-for-7 mark at the free-throw line.
Bailey’s senior running mate, Chance Jones, figured in the decision prominently with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The Knoxville product also produced six rebounds and four assists. Jones — the reigning SAC Player of the Week — has scored 10 or more points in five-straight games. Over his last three appearances, he has shot at a blistering 27-for-39 clip.
Junior Lorenza Ross contributed 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Curtis McMillion pitched in eight points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Curtis Webb was also productive in 22 minutes in LMU’s second unit with seven points, three rebounds and four assists.
The Railsplitters never trailed through the first 10 minutes of action, but a Darius Moose three-pointer and free throw put Brevard in front 21-19 with 8:11 left in the half. The first stanza saw four ties following that flurry by Moose. Brevard’s Jake Pifer nailed two free throws with 4:33 remaining in the frame to tie it at 29 apiece, but that would stand as the final stalemate of the contest.
McMillion’s four points, the Railsplitters closed the first on a 10-4 run to take a 39-33 lead into the locker room. Miles Leathers scored the only points for the Tornado over that stretch, nailing a lay-up and two free throws in the final 1:32.
Slowly but surely, the Railsplitters ground away at the Tornados in the second half, pulling out to a 63-50 advantage at the midway point on a Jones jumper. A Leathers jumper and a three-pointer from Alex Moe cut Brevard’s deficit to 70-62 with 7:30 to play, but the Railsplitters answered with an 11-1 run over 2:25 of game clock to leap in front 81-63. Following that flourish, Lincoln Memorial never led by less than 12.
The Tornados shot 42.4 percent (25-for-59) from the field, marred by a 9-for-23 clip from behind the three-point arc. Brevard added a 16-for-27 clip from the free-throw line to its offensive stat ledger.
Moose scored 21 points on 7-of-20 shooting to lead the Tornado, while Leathers contributed 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting and a 7-for-11 effort at the charity stripe. Leathers added four assists, five steals and two blocks to his stat sheet. Pifer and Moe chipped in with 10 points apiece.
As a unit, Lincoln Memorial out-rebounded the Tornados 49-18 and accumulated a 60-24 advantage on points in the paint. The Railsplitters were plagued by turnovers, committing 18 which accounted for 16 points for Brevard. LMU grabbed nine offensive rebounds and amassed 14 points on those second-chance opportunities.
The Railsplitters return to Tex Turner Arena on Saturday for an 8 p.m. SAC contests against Coker.