Railsplitters back at No.12 in DII poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the third time this season, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball made a significant leap in the NABC/Division II Poll, as they jumped to 12th in the latest national rankings.
The Railsplitters improved to 12-2 on the season and 5-1 in the South Atlantic Conference with a pair of victories in league play this past week. LMU opened the week with a commanding 75-51 win over the Brevard lastWednesday evening in Tex Turner Arena. On Saturday, the Railsplitters handed Lenoir-Rhyne their first home loss of the season by capturing a thrilling 82-72 overtime victory.
A balanced attack has been key to LMU’s success as six players currently average at least eight points per game. Jake Troyli leads the way at 14.3 ppg while also ranking third on the team with 5.3 boards per game. Troyli, a 6-11 forward out of Largo, Fla., matched a career-best effort on Saturday with a game-high 26 points on 10-13 shooting from the field against Lenoir-Rhyne. Vincent Bailey has been the strongest performer of late for Lincoln Memorial, as the 6-6 forward has tallied double-doubles in two-consecutive contests en route to garnering South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week and Railsplitter of the Week honors. Bailey ranks second on the team in scoring (13.0 per) while leading the team and ranking third in the SAC in rebounding (9.0 per).
Wally Jones, Lorenza Ross and Cam Carden have been the headliners of a strong back court for the Railsplitters, as the trio has combined to tally more than 35 points per game. Jones leads that group with 12.3 ppg and narrowly leads the guards with 4.3 rebounds per game. Jones also ranks among the best in the conference in three-point accuracy, as he has connected on 30 of his 64 attempts from long range for a 46.9 percent clip. Carden is averaging 9.9 points per game along with 4.1 rebounds and has a season total of 41 assists to lead the Railsplitters. Ross has compiled 10.3 points per game and dished out 39 total assists.
The bench play of the Railsplitters has also been a strong point of emphasis, as Dustin Craig and Tim Pierce have made significant contributions in the second unit for LMU. Craig is averaging 8.2 points and 6.2 boards per game in only 20.8 minutes of action, while Pierce is scoring 4.8 points per outing in his debut season for the Railsplitters.
The Railsplitters boast a scoring average of 80.9 points per game and currently hold a scoring margin of +17 this season, as they are limiting their foes to an average of 63.9 points and 38.7 percent shooting. Offensively, LMU has compiled a 50.4 percent effort from the floor and nailed 88 of their 204 three-point attempts (43.1 percent). Lincoln Memorial also out-rebounds their opponents by an average of 9.7 boards per game this season.
Lincoln Memorial faces a tough task this week, as they are slated to take on two of the top teams in the SAC. They open the week at arch-rival Carson-Newman on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Railsplitters return to Tex Turner Arena on Saturday to face Wingate, who is currently unbeaten in SAC play this season. That game will tip off at 8 p.m.