WISE, Va. — The No. 11 Railsplitters fell from the ranks of the unbeaten Saturday, as the Cavaliers of the UVa.-Wise erased an 11-point halftime deficit to upend Lincoln Memorial, 81-80, in overtime. The loss dropps the Railsplitters to 6-1, while the Cavaliers improve to 5-5 with the victory.
LMU struck first in the extra frame with a jumper Vincent Bailey with 3:13 to play. A three-point play by Matt Day on the ensuing possession for the Cavaliers swung the scoreboard in UVA-Wise’s favor at 78-77 with 2:23 on the clock. Bailey answered again with another jumper to give LMU the lead, however, Day drained two more free throws to give the Cavaliers an 80-79 lead with 26 seconds on the clock.
Following a brief 80-80 tie following a made free throw from Bailey, Darius Smith and C.J. Wakeley got tangled up in the ensuing possession to send Smith to the line. Smith knocked down one of his two attempts with three seconds remaining and the Railsplitters’ game-winning attempt came up short.
The opening portion of the first half belonged to UVa.-Wise, as the Cavaliers established a 12-8 lead on a jumper by Matt Day at the 15:27 mark of the period. The Railsplitters responed by cutting the deficit to one thanks to a bucket from Jake Troyli with 14:08 in the frame and took the lead two possessions later when C.J. Wakeley drained a three-pointer at the 12:41 mark to make it 16-14 in favor of LMU.
There were five ties over the next eight minutes, but the Railsplitters closed the half on a 9-0 run, highlighted by a buzzer-beating three from Cam Carden to take 46-35 lead into the break.
Coming out of the locker room, the Cavaliers quickly erased that deficit with a 16-5 run, capped with a Javon Moore trey to tie the contest at 51-51 with 17:06 left in regulation. LMU responded a short while later with an 8-0 run — consisting of four points apiece from Vincent Bailey and Dustin Craig — to assume a 62-56 lead with 11:28 in the game.
But UVa.-Wise refused to go away. A Wally Jones 3 put LMU up 73-66 with 4:02 remaining in regulation, but the Cavs got a jumper from Javon Moore, 3 from Matt Day and a jumper from Jermaine Wright to tie the game at 75 with 32 seconds on the clock. The Railsplitters had two chances to win it in regulation, but couldn’t connect and the game went into overtime.
The Railsplitters finished the game with a 44.7 percent shooting clip from the field but struggled mightily from the charity stripe with a 6-15 effort from the foul line. Bailey paced LMU offensively with 19 points and also led the ‘Splitters to a 44-42 advantage on the glass with 12 rebounds to notch his second-consecutive double-double. Dustin Craig came off the bench to spark the Railsplitters with 18 points as the combination of Bailey and Craig highlighted a 44-36 advantage in the paint for Lincoln Memorial.
Wally Jones and Wakeley were the headliners of the LMU back court, as the two combined for 24 points in the contest. Jones tallied 13 points and dished out five assists in 36 minutes of action, while Wakeley also paired five assists with 11 points.
Cam Carden added eight points and seven rebounds with Jake Troyli notching nine points and five boards.
UVA-Wise implemented a balanced offensive attack to take the victory. Javon Moore led all players with 20 points and reigned in a team-high 10 rebounds. Darius Smith added 16 points, while Matt Day (15), Jermaine Wright (14) and James Turner (10) also finished with double-figure scoring.
The difference came at the free throw line, as the Cavaliers made 12 more trips to the charity stripe and drained 16 of their 27 attempts on the afternoon.
The Railsplitters will look to rebound Sunday, as they return to the friendly confines of Tex Turner Arena after a three-game road swing. LMU hosts the Tornado of King College for a 4 p.m. tip.