MARS HILL, NC -- The 12th-ranked Railsplitters cruised to an 86-58 over the Lions of Mars Hill College in South Atlantic Conference basketball action on Wednesday evening in Mars Hill, North Carolina. Lincoln Memorial University moves to 10-1 on the season and an unblemished 3-0 in SAC play, while Mars Hill drops to 3-8 on the year and 0-3 in league play. For the fourth-consecutive season, the Railsplitters are off to at least a 10-1 start.
Lincoln Memorial implemented a potent, yet balanced offensive attack, finishing 35-63 from the field with five players tallying double-digit points en route to earning the win. Lorenza Ross and Cam Carden led the way with 15 points apiece. Ross notched a 6-11 effort from the field, dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds in the winning effort. Carden made good on five of his nine three-point attempts, grabbed five boards and dealt five assists.
The Lincoln Memorial front court was paced by 12 points respectively from Vincent Bailey, Jake Troyli and Dustin Craig. The trio combined to shoot 18-30 from the field. Bailey helped lead the Railsplitters to a 49-25 advantage on the glass with a game-high 13 boards, while Troyli picked up seven rebounds and Craig grabbed five.
On the defensive end, Lincoln Memorial limited the Lions to a 21-63 effort (33.3%) from the field. James Fields came off the bench to lead Mars Hill with 13 points while Khouraichi Thiam sparked the Lions with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Railsplitters outscored the Lions 46-28 in the paint and used 10 Mars Hill turnovers to score 14 points.
LMU opened by taking a 7-3 lead in the early portion of the first half following a layup from Vincent Bailey with 17:31 left in the frame. A layup by Will White and a three-pointer from Kiko Lopez brought the Lions to the lead at 8-7 with 16:32 to play. That would stand as the one and only lead of the contest for the Lions, as LMU responded with an 8-0 run, capped with a Lorenza Ross three-pointer, to take a 15-8 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the half. Khouraichi Thiam cut the Railsplitters' lead to three with a flush at the 11:04 mark, however, LMU responded with a 13-4 run to extend their advantage to 32-20 with 7:01 remaining. That advantage held for the remainder of the frame as CJ Wakeley knocked down a pair of free throws to send LMU into the break leading 41-28.
By the 13:46 mark of the second half, the Railsplitters had pushed their advantage to 55-34 with a dunk from Jake Troyli. For the remainder of the game, LMU never led by less than 17 and cruised to a dominant 28-point victory over the Lions in Mars Hill, North Carolina.
The Railsplitters finished with a 50% mark from the three-point line (8-16) and held the Lions to a 4-14 effort from the three.
Lincoln Memorial University is set to return to Tex Turner Arena this Saturday for a battle with South Atlantic Conference foe Anderson University. That contest is slated to air nationwide on the CBS Sports Network and locally on WVLT Channel 8. The Lincoln Memorial University athletic department will be distributing 1,500 free white t-shirts and 2,500 free white rally towels to fans for the "Pack the House" promo. That game tips at noon on Saturday, January 12th on the campus of Lincoln Memorial.