HARROGATE, Tenn. — Vincent Bailey and Luquon Choice carried a razor sharp offensive performance for the 18th-ranked Railsplitters in an 84-60 thumping of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears in South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday.
Lincoln Memorial University won its fifth straight game, the third straight by 15 or more points, and improved to 9-1 on the season and 5-1 in SAC play. The Bear fall to 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the league.
The Railsplitters crested the 50-percent shooting clip for the fourth game in a row, logging a 56 percent effort (28-for-50) from the field with a 5-for-13 mark from behind the three-point arc. Lincoln Memorial amassed an 18-point advantage over the Bears at the free throw line, going 23-for-33 while L-R finished only 5-for-12.
Bailey logged 15 first-half points to carry the Railsplitters to a 43-31 cushion at the break. He finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, notching his fourth double-double of the season. Redshirt-freshman Choice matched Bailey’s game-high effort, burying four three-pointers while going four-for-four from the free throw line to collect 20 points in 29 minutes of action.
The trio of Lorenza Ross, Chance Jones and Curtis McMillion contributed 10 points apiece, and redshirt-junior Keenan Peterson matched a career-best with a game-high 14 boards, leading the Railsplitters to a dominant 43-23 advantage on the glass.
Lincoln Memorial limited the Bears to a 26-for-61 effort (42.6 percent) from the field and a 3-for-11 mark from downtown. Rob Noyes posted 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting to pace Lenoir-Rhyne, while Allan Jones added 14 points in 18 minutes off the bench. LMU held R.J. McClure eight points below his scoring average, as the L-R guard collected 10 points and a team-high six rebounds. Will Perry contributed eight points in 22 minutes.
The Bears opened up an early 5-4 advantage following a jumper by Mark Terrell at the 16:41 mark, but LMU countered with an 11-0 run, strolling out to a 15-5 lead with 14:06 to play in the half. The Railsplitters extended their cushion to 11 before Jones paced a 9-0 run for the Bears with five points to close the gap to 19-17 with 10:32 on the clock. It remained a two-point game for a brief stead, but LMU rolled off another 8-0 run over 3:04 of game time to take a 27-19 lead. They led by as many as 13 before going into the break up 43-31.
The Railsplitters continued to push the pace in the second half, extending their lead to 20 on a pair of free throws by McMillion with 12:27 to play. From that juncture, LMU never led by less than 14 and amassed as large as a 26-point cushion.
The Railsplitters will be looking to avenge their only loss of the season on Wednesday when they visit Anderson (S.C.) for an 8 p.m. SAC game.