WINGATE, N.C. — The 12th-ranked Railsplitters locked up the No. 1 seed in the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament and at least a share of the SAC regular season championship with a 63-60 to win over the Wingate University Bulldogs on Wednesday. It was the fifth straight win for LMU (21-4, 14-3 SAC) and capped season sweep over Wingate (17-8, 13-4 SAC).
A win over Catawba College on Saturday would clinch the SAC regular season championship outright for the Railsplitters and would be their second title in the Josh Schertz era. The Railsplitters won both the 2010-11 SAC regular season and tournament championships.
Senior Cam Carden became the 23rd player to join the 1,000 Point Club at Lincoln Memorial, as he netted 16 points on four-of-seven shooting with three trifectas to move his career total to 1,004 points scored.
Offensively, the Railsplitters were led to victory by the stellar effort of junior forward Vincent Bailey. Bailey led all scorers with 21 points while pacing Lincoln Memorial to a 39-34 rebounding advantage with a team-leading 11 boards. Dustin Craig sparked the ‘Splitters off the bench with eight points on three-of-four shooting. Lorenza Ross bolstered the LMU offensive attack by chipping in with seven points, dishing out four assists and reigning in five rebounds.
Odell Turner headlined Wingate’s offensive efforts with 18 points on eight-of-13 shooting to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. He was aided by the performance of Ryan Daye, as he turned in 13 points. The Railsplitters limited Turner’s back court running mate Deion Turman to only two points in the contest.
In a back and forth contest that saw the game tied on six occasions and the lead switch hands 14 times, the Railsplitters found a way to come up on the top of the final momentum shift. The Bulldogs used a layup by Xavier Griffin to take a 52-51 lead with 6:25 remaining in regulation. From that juncture, the Railsplitters got three free throws from Carden and a pair of freebies from Bailey to swing a 5-0 run and take a 56-52 lead with 5:26 to play.
The Railsplitters would bend but never break over the final five minutes of action, as Paidrick Matilus nailed two free throws to cut the lead back to two at the 3:33 mark. Carden answered again for Lincoln Memorial with a jumper and a free throw to extend the lead to 59-54 with 2:47 left to play.
The two teams exchanged free throws over the final minutes with the Railsplitters netting a freebie with 22 seconds left to make it 61-56. Ethan Kincaid quickly answered with a bucket on the other end for the Bulldogs but Jake Troyli made one of his two attempts at the charity stripe to push it back to a two-possession game. Kincaid once again scored for the Bulldogs to cut the game to 62-60 with eight seconds left and Troyli was fouled and sent to the line on the ensuing in-bounds play. After making one of his two attempts on his second go around, the Bulldogs had a game-winning attempt but Daye’s shot went begging to give the Railsplitters a 63-60 victory in Wingate, North Carolina.
Lincoln Memorial caps their regular-season schedule with a matchup against the Catawba Indians on Saturday at 8 p.m. It’s also senior Day, as Cam Carden, Dustin Craig, Wally Jones, Jake Troyli and Jairocey Simpson are set to be honored in their final regular season game.
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LINCOLN MEMORIAL (21-4, 14-3 SAC)
Vincent Bailey 7-16 7-10 21, Cam Carden 4-7 5-6 16, Dustin Craig 3-4 2-3 8, Lorenza Ross 3-8 1-2 7, Jake Troyli 1-3 2-4 5, Wally Jones 1-4 2-2 4, Chance Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Curtis McMillion 0-3 0-0 0, CJ Wakeley 0-0 0-0 0, Tim Pierce 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 19-27 63.
WINGATE (17-8, 13-4 SAC)
Odell Turner 8-13 2-5 18, Ryan Daye 4-17 5-5 13, Paidrick Matilus 2-9 2-2 7, Ethan Kincaid 3-8 0-0 6, Quan Alexander 3-4 0-1 6, Jeff Parker 2-2 0-0 4, Deion Turman 1-3 0-1 2, Eddie Lewis 1-5 0-0 2,Xavier Griffin 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-62 9-14 60.
Lincoln Memorial… 37 26 — 63
Wingate………………. 30 30 — 60
3-point goals—Lincoln Memorial 4-8 (Carden 3-5, Troyli 1-1, WJones 0-1, CJones 0-1); Wingate 1-19 (Matilus 1-6, Daye
0-5, Kincaid 0-3, Alexander 0-1, Lewis 0-3, Turner 0-1). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Lincoln Memorial 39 (Bailey 11); Wingate 34 (Turner 13). Assists—Lincoln Memorial 8 (Ross 4), Wingate 5 (Kincaid 2). Total fouls—Lincoln Memorial 15, Wingate 19. Technical fouls—Lincoln Memorial-TEAM, Wingate-Ryan Daye. A-703.