ROCK HILL, S.C. — After locking up the second regular-season SAC title in three years, the 11th-ranked Railsplitters placed four individuals on the All-South Atlantic Conference team, as league officials unveiled the 2012-13 men’s basketball awards on Wednesday. Vincent Bailey and Jake Troyli earned the nod for the All-SAC first team, while Lorenza Ross garnered All-Conference second team distinctions and Tim Pierce was named the the All-Freshman team.
This announcement comes in the wake of Lincoln Memorial University capturing the South Atlantic Conference regular season crown this past weekend with an 82-65 victory over the Catawba Indians. Lincoln Memorial capped the regular season with a 22-4 overall mark and a league-best 15-3 conference record.
Junior Vincent Bailey (Jennings, Fla.) nabbed All-SAC first team distinctions after leading the Railsplitters in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (7.5) this season. For the year, the 6-foot-6 forward ranked 12th in the league in scoring, second in field-goal percentage and fourth in rebounding. According to the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, Bailey is 19th among all eligible players in Division II in field-goal percentage, as he has knocked down 61.1 percent of his shots this season.
All told, Bailey has notched seven double-doubles this season and he currently is riding a streak of seven-consecutive games crossing the double-digit scoring plateau. Vincent posted his best game of the season with the SAC regular-season title on the line, as he tallied a game-high 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds in a win at Wingate University this past Wednesday.
Bailey’s high rebound number came on Dec. 2, as he reigned in a career-high 14 boards to go along with 20 points to propel Lincoln Memorial to a win on the road over Newberry. He nearly matched that number with 13 boards in the Railsplitters’ win over Trevecca Nazarene on Jan. 2.
Bailey was honored in the league awards for the third-consecutive season, as he was an All-SAC second team selection for the 2011-12 season and an All-Freshman team honoree in 2010-11.
Senior Jake Troyli (Largo, Fla.) joined Bailey on the All-SAC first team after finishing second on the team with 13.4 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per appearance. The 6-foot-10 forward capped the regular season ranked 14th in the league in scoring, eighth in rebounding and 14th in field-goal percentage (49.8 percent).
Troyli tallied double-figure scoring in 16 games this season with two double-doubles to his credit. Midway through the season, Troyli posted the two most prolific scoring performances of the Railsplitters’ season in back-to-back outings to catapult the team to a pair of league victories on the road. On Jan. 19, Jake drained 10 of his 13 shots to collect a game-high 26 points to pace the Railsplitters past Lenoir-Rhyne. Troyli followed that performance by besting that mark, as he recorded a career-high 32 points in the Railsplitters’ commanding victory at Carson-Newman on Jan. 23.
Jake capped the season with five games of at least 20 points and six other performances boasting at least 15 points. He corralled at least six boards in 16 games with his season-high coming on Feb. 13, as he raked in a career-high 16 rebounds in the Railsplitters’ win over Brevard. Troyli rounded out his stat ledger with a team-leading 28 blocks and finished third on the squad with 20 steals.
Lorenza Ross (Savannah, Ga.) was named to the All-SAC second team following a breakout sophomore season with the Railsplitters. Ross, a 6-foot-2 guard, poured in 10.2 points per game to go along with a team-leading 3.2 assists. He finished the regular season ranked fourth on the team in minutes played (27.0), while shooting at a 43.4-percent clip from the field with a 41.2 -percent mark from long range.
The 2011-12 All-Freshman team selection crossed the double-digit scoring mark 14 times this season with his career-high coming on Feb. 2, as he tallied 18 points against the Catawba Indians. Arguably his best game of the season came in the regular-season finale, as he posted 16 points, three assists and a career-high eight rebounds in the Railsplitters’ title-clinching win over Catawba.
For the regular season, Ross compiled at least 15 points in eight contests with three or more assists in 15 games. At this juncture, he leads the team in total assists with 76 to his credit while ranking fourth in total points scored with 245 this season.
In his debut season with the Railsplitters, Tim Pierce (Albany, Ga.) made a splash, as he was selected to the SAC All-Freshman Team. While only averaging 14.8 minutes per contest, Pierce has chipped in with 4.8 points per appearance with 110 total points this season. He has provided a deep-shooting threat for the ‘Splitters off the bench, canning 13 of his 28 attempts from long range for a team-leading 46.4-percent mark. He also leads the team in free-throw percentage, as he boasts an 88.5-percent clip from the charity stripe.
The 6-foot-2 guard has crossed the double-digit scoring plateau on three occasions this season with his best outing coming against Brevard on Jan. 16, as he lifted LMU off the bench with 14 points, three assists and two boards. On Feb. 2, Pierce poured in 13 points, canning three of his four three-point attempts, with five rebounds against Catawba. He added a 13-point performance with only 19 minutes of work in only his second collegiate game, a win over Bob Jones University on Nov. 16.
In total, Pierce dished out 22 assists, nabbed 30 rebounds and picked up nine steals in his first season for Lincoln Memorial.
This marks the second-consecutive season the Railsplitters have earned four nods to the All-SAC Teams. Last season, Desmond Johnson and Brandon Armstrong were All-SAC first team selections, while Bailey was second team and Ross was an All-Freshman honoree. This is the third-straight season the Railsplitters have placed two players on the All-SAC First Team, as Johnson and D’Mario Curry sparked that streak with first team selections following the 2010-11 campaign.
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2012-13 SAC Men’s Basketball Awards
All-SAC First Team
Antoine Davis, Carson-Newman (Jr.)
Chandler Hash, Anderson (Jr.)
Ishmael Sanders, Carson-Newman (Jr.)
Vincent Bailey, Lincoln Memorial (Jr.)
Jake Troyli, Lincoln Memorial (Sr.)
Denzel Dillingham, Lenoir-Rhyne (So.)
All-SAC Second Team
Odell Turner, Wingate (Sr.)
Denzail Jones, Anderson (Sr.)
Tyrece Little, Catawba (So.)
Paidrick Matilus, Wingate (Sr.)
Dondray Walker, Newberry (So.)
Lorenza Ross, Lincoln Memorial (So.)
SAC All-Freshman Team
Keith Jumper, Tusculum
Elon Edwards, Catawba
Manzey Miller, Brevard
Mitch Riggs, Newberry
Tim Pierce, Lincoln Memorial
SAC Player of the Year: Antoine Davis, Carson-Newman
SAC Freshman of the Year: Keith Jumper, Tusculum
SAC Coach of the Year: Chuck Benson, Carson-Newman