KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Heading into the final week of the regular-season schedule, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team used a pair of statement victories to leap to No. 12 in the latest NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, which was unveiled on Tuesday.
Lincoln Memorial (20-4, 13-3 SAC) opened this past week by upending rival Carson-Newman University, 69-64, on Wednesday to sweep the regular-season series over the Eagles. The Railsplitters trailed 52-50 with 9:19 left in regulation, however, they used an 11-0 rally over the ensuing 3:56 to take command of the contest. Vincent Bailey, Jake Troyli and Lorenza Ross scored 12 points apiece for a balanced offensive effort in the win.
On Saturday the Railsplitters extended their winning streak to four by surging late in the second half to capture a 73-64 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne. LMU led just 46-45 at the 12:08 mark of regulation, but closed with a 27-19 run over that final 12-minute stretch to grab the win. Bailey led the way with a game-high 21 points on nine-of-11 shooting.
With another week in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, Lincoln Memorial extended their South Atlantic Conference record streak to 40-consecutive weeks ranked nationally.
The Railsplitters continue to be led offensively by the four-headed attack of Jake Troyli, Vincent Bailey, Wally Jones and Lorenza Ross. Troyli narrowly leads the team in scoring with 13.8 points per appearance while ranking second on the team in rebounding at 6.5 boards per. Bailey jumped to 13.0 points per game after a solid week and he continues to lead the team in rebounding with 7.4 boards per. Bailey’s rebounding average places him fourth overall in the South Atlantic Conference in that category. Jones is pouring in 11.2 per while Ross is also in double-figures with 10.1 points per.
Lincoln Memorial has also been aided by the efforts of seniors Cam Carden and Dustin Craig. Carden is putting in 9.5 points per and currently sits 18 points away from becoming the 23rd player in the history of the LMU men’s basketball program to join the 1,000 Point Club. Craig is chipping in with seven points per and ranks third on the team with 5.9 rebounds per game.
The Railsplitters are poised to cap the 2012-13 regular-season schedule this week with a chance to earn a share of the South Atlantic Conference title. That road begins on Wednesday, as the Railsplitters are set to duel the Wingate University Bulldogs in Wingate, N.C. The Railsplitters and Bulldogs are tied for first in the SAC at 13-3 in the league standings. A win on Wednesday would assure at least a share of the SAC regular season championship.
Lincoln Memorial concludes the regular season on Saturday evening, as they welcome Catawba College to Harrogate for the regular-season finale. Both of the Railsplitters’ final two games tip at 8 p.m.