KANSAS CITY, MO -- The Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team dropped six spots in the most recent NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, falling to No. 16 in this week's rankings which were revealed late Tuesday afternoon. However, in the process, the Railsplitters extended their South Atlantic Conference record streak to 37-consecutive weeks ranked in the poll dating back to December 7th of 2010.
The Railsplitters dropped to 15-3 on the season and 8-2 in South Atlantic Conference play after splitting a pair of league contests this past week, which moved them from 10th to 16th in the NABC poll. LMU overcame a four-point halftime deficit on Wednesday night to upend the Tusculum Pioneers, 64-58, in Tex Turner Arena, however, they fell 73-63 to the Catawba Indians in Salisbury, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The Railsplitters struggled to find their rhythm offensively in that contest, shooting 40.4% in the game, while the Indians boasted a 47.5% effort on the other end of the floor to snap the Railsplitters' five-game winning streak.
Despite falling in the poll, the Railsplitters extended their South Atlantic Conference record streak to 37-consecutive weeks ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll. The Railsplitters first broke into the poll in December of 2010 and have not been absent from the rankings since that date. Since 2010, Lincoln Memorial boast an astounding 68-12 record, winning 85% of their games over that span which is the top winning percentage in the NCAA Southeast Region. The Railsplitters have been especially dominant in Tex Turner Arena over the past three seasons, as they hold a nearly unblemished 39-3 record at Lincoln Memorial.
The Railsplitters are knotted in a three-way tie atop the South Atlantic Conference standings with Wingate and Anderson, and Lincoln Memorial stands among the top three in the league in a plethora of statistical categories. LMU leads the league in three-point field-goal percentage (41.9%), defensive rebounds per game (28.4) and rebound margin per game (9.4), while ranking second in field goals made per game (28.9), offensive rebounds per game (11.9), total rebounds per (40.4), blocks per game (3.9) and opponent field-goal percentage (39.2). Lincoln Memorial also sits among the top ten in the NCAA Division II in several key categories, notching ninth in scoring margin (14.1) and rebound margin.
Lincoln Memorial has been led this season by the three-headed attack of Jake Troyli, Vincent Bailey and Wally Jones, as all three of those players are averaging double-figure scoring. Troyli, a senior from Largo, Florida, leads that group at 14.4 points per contest, while Bailey (Jennings, Florida) is averaging 12.7 per and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per. Wally Jones, a senior from Greensboro, North Carolina, is pouring in 11.3 points per game.
The Railsplitters are slated for a pair of South Atlantic Conference contests this week within the friendly confines of Tex Turner Arena, beginning on Wednesday night, as they welcome Mars Hill to Harrogate, Tennessee. That game tips at 8 pm. On Saturday night, the Railsplitters cap the week against the Newberry Wolves, which also is set to tip at 8 pm.