Railsplitters run by Wingate 113-76 on the road Saturday
WINGATE, N.C. — A scorching start, and a fantastic offensive performance propelled the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team to a dominant 113-76 victory at Wingate University Saturday evening in the Railsplitters’ South Atlantic Conference opener and first true road game of the 2019-20 season. Claiming its sixth-straight win, LMU put on a clinic on the offensive end of the court by shooting 52.2 percent (36-of-69) from the field, knocking down 14 three-pointers and hitting 27-of-32 (84.4%) free throws.
The Railsplitters (6-1, 1-0 SAC) held the host Bulldogs (4-2, 0-1 SAC) to 38.2 percent (26-of-68) shooting, including 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from beyond the arc, and outscored Wingate 40-24 in the paint. Leading from its first possession on, LMU got 35 points off the bench and scored 17 points off of 18 forced turnovers.
A conventional three-point play from sophomore guard Courvoisier McCauley on the Railsplitters’ first possession gave way to back-to-back treys from redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Henry and a McCauley deep ball as the Railsplitters held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 3:20. After hitting its first four shots of the night, LMU quickly built its lead to 21 at 26-5 nearly eight minutes in on a pair of free throws from junior guard Alex Dahling.
Four consecutive made foul shots by redshirt junior guard Devin Whitfield following a technical foul on Bulldog head coach Brian Good put the Railsplitters ahead 37-11 at the 7:34 mark of the opening half. A 16-7 run capped by another pair of Whitfield free throws across a 3:01 span late in the first half gave LMU its largest lead of the half at 60-29 with 46 seconds to go before the break.
The Railsplitters led 60-31 heading into the locker room after shooting 48.4 percent (15-of-31) and going 7-for-15 (46.7%) from deep in the first 20 minutes of play. Earning 26 first-half free-throw shots, LMU made all but three (88.5%) and limited Wingate to just 25 percent (9-of-36) from the floor and 1-of-15 (6.7%) from outside.
A fastbreak layup by senior guard Anthony Brown put the Railsplitters back up by 31 (71-40) just over four minutes into the second half. LMU then outscored the Bulldogs 17-11 over the following five and a half minutes of play to go up by 37 at 88-51 on a tip-in by redshirt senior guard/forward Kamaran Calhoun. Redshirt junior forward Shaquille Rombley rose up for a monstrous slam with about 3:30 remaining, giving the Railsplitters a 41-point advantage and propelling LMU over 100 points at 102-61.
The Railsplitters took their largest lead of the night on a McCauley pass off the backboard to a sprinting Anthony Brown down the lane, who rose up for a dunk to put LMU ahead by 45 at 112-67 with just under two minutes to go. Wingate would outscore the Railsplitters 9-1 over the final 1:50 of the game, making the 113-76 score go final.
Both teams shot over 50 percent in the second half of play with the Bulldogs going 4-for-6 (66.7%) from three-point land and LMU connecting on seven of its 18 shots (38.9%) from distance.
Four different Railsplitters reached double figures in scoring led by Whitfield’s season-best 31 points on 8-of-17 shooting, five treys and 10-for-10 performance at the charity stripe. He also had a season-high seven rebounds to go along with an assist, steal and block.
Anthony Brown had another outstanding game, scoring 19 points after going 8-for-12 from the field, grabbing a game-high eight rebounds and handing out a game-best eight assists. McCauley finished with 18 points and went 6-for-8 at the foul line with a trio of assists and six rebounds, while Calhoun had 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists off the bench. Dahling and freshman guard Jeremiah Keene claimed eight points apiece.
Wingate was led by guard Jarren Cottingham’s 21 points as guard Frankie Johnson collected 12 points and guard Kendrick Tucker had nine. Forward Quantra Taylor pulled down a team-high seven boards for the Bulldogs.
LMU has now made at least 13 three-pointers in each of its last three contests and has won three consecutive games by at least a 35-point margin. The Railsplitters’ 113 points is the most in a SAC game since scoring 115 in a home win over Newberry on Jan. 5.
The Railsplitters remain away from Harrogate and continue their three-game road trip with a visit to local rival Carson-Newman on Tuesday.