GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — The 12th-ranked Railsplitters outlasted the Tusculum Pioneers to take an 83-70 victory in the South Atlantic Conference opener and remain unbeaten on the season on Wednesday evening. The win extends Lincoln Memorial University’s winning-streak to five to open the season, as they moved to 5-0 and 1-0 in league play. The loss drops the Pioneers to 1-5 on the season and 0-1 in SAC play.
In a physical battle that saw the two teams combine for 56 fouls with four Pioneers fouling out of the contest, the Railsplitters used a balanced offensive attack to outlast Tusculum. Four players reached double-figure scoring for Lincoln Memorial as the squad finished with a 46.2-percent mark from the field.
Senior Cam Carden (Clearwater, Fla.) turned in his best performance of the season with a game-high 17 points, adding four rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 38 minutes of action. Carden went 5-12 from the floor with a 3-7 clip from three. Sophomore Lorenza Ross (Savannah, Ga.) continued his strong play this season with a 16-point effort on 4-10 shooting.
Wally Jones (Greensboro, N.C.) was steady in the Railsplitter backcourt with 12 points, four boards, an assist and a steal in 35 minutes of action. Junior Vincent Bailey (Jennings, Fla.) returned from injury to spark the Railsplitters off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds in judy 15 minutes. C.J. Wakeley (Alachua, Fla.) and Curtis McMillion (Fayetteville, N.C.) added nine points apiece off of the bench to aid the offensive attack for LMU.
Senior Dustin Craig (Knoxville) helped lead the Railsplitters to a 39-33 advantage on the glass with a game-high seven rebounds, while also leading all players with three blocks in the contest. The Railsplitters grabbed nine offensive boards to compile 13 second-chance points and took advantage of 11 Pioneer miscues to tally 15 points.
Neal Spinks paced the Pioneers with 13 points, Darius Carter added 12 while Devin Call and Addison Flynn tallied 11 points apiece. Keith Jumper headlined the Pioneers’ effort on the boards by reigning in six rebounds.
LMU held sway early by running out to a 10-5 advantage thanks to a jumper from Carden with 12:43 left in the opening half. The Pioneers responded with a 10-2 run behind seven points from Spinks over that span to establish a 15-12 lead by the 11 -minute mark. That lead was quickly erased following a pair of free throws from Wakeley and a layup from Bailey, as the Railsplitters took a 16-15 lead by the nine-minute mark of the half.
The Railsplitters would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the contest, running out to as large as a seven-point advantage in the final stretch of the first 20 minutes of play.
Coming out of the locker room, Lincoln Memorial pushed their lead to double-digits with a pair of free throws from Jake Troyli (Largo, Fla.) with 15:12 remaining in regulation and never led by less than eight down the stretch. The Railsplitters amassed as large as a 14-point advantage on three different occasions.
The Railsplitters travel to Newberry Sunday for a South Atlantic Conference showdown with the Wolves set to start at 4 p.m.
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LINCOLN MEMORIAL 83, TUSCULUM 70
LINCOLN MEMORIAL (5-0, 1-0 SAC)
Cam Carden 5-12 4-6 17, Lorenza Ross 4-10 8-14 16, Wally Jones 4-9 1-2 12, Vincent Bailey 3-5 4-4 10, CJ Wakeley 2-3 5-6 9, Curtis McMillion 3-3 3-3 9, Jake Troyli 2-4 2-2 6, Dustin Craig 1-5 2-6 4, Jairocey Simpson 0-1 0-0 0, Keenan Peterson 0-0 0-0 0, Chance Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 29-43 83.
TUSCULUM (1-5, 0-1 SAC)
Neal Spinks 4-11 5-7 13, Darius Carter 5-9 2-2 12, Addison Flynn 4-13 2-2 11, Devin Call 5-6 0-0 11, JD Miller 2-5 3-4 7, Keith Jumper 1-4 4-6 7, Nick Spinks 2-5 0-0 4, Anton Tuz 1-3 1-2 3, Matt Shown 1-3 0-0 2, Daniel O’Conner 0-1 0-0 0, Chase Ward-McEwen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-60 17-23 70.
Lincoln Memorial…… 31 52 — 83
Tusculum……………… 25 45 — 70
3-point goals—Lincoln Memorial 6-15 (Carden 3-7, WJones 3-6, Troyli 0-1, Ross 0-1); Tusculum 3-8 (Flynn 1-5, Jumper 1-1, Call 1-2). Fouled out—Lincoln Memorial-McMillion,Tusculum-O’Conner, Flynn, Tuz, Jumper. Rebounds—Lincoln Memorial 39 ( Craig 7); Tusculum 33 (Jumper 6). Assists—Lincoln Memorial 12 (Carden 5), Tusculum 11 (Flynn 5). Total fouls—Lincoln Memorial 24, Tusculum 32. Technical fouls—Lincoln Memorial-Craig, Tusculum-Flynn, TEAM. A-555.