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Railsplitters crack top 10 Of NABC/Division II Coaches Poll

KANSAS CITY, MO - For the first time in nearly a year, the Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team broke into the top 10 of the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, coming in at No.10 in this week's national rankings. Officials with the National Association of Basketball Coaches unveiled the ninth poll of the 2013-14 season on Tuesday afternoon.

The Railsplitters (13-1, 9-1 SAC) last appeared in the top 10 of the national poll on January 29, 2013 and, since falling out the following week, Lincoln Memorial has been on the fringe of regaining that mark. After two more South Atlantic Conference road victories this past week, the Railsplitters made the final push and jumped from 11 to 10 in the national rankings.

Lincoln Memorial extended its South Atlantic Conference record streak to 51-consecutive weeks ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll with its representation in the January 21, 2014 poll. LMU's streak of 51-consecutive weeks ranked is the 11th-longest such streak in the 43-year history of the NABC/Division II Poll and the fourth-longest active count in the nation, trailing only No.1 West Liberty, No.7 Bellarmine and No.9 Southern Indiana.

The Railsplitters extended their winning streak to nine games - the longest for the men's basketball program since the start of the 2011-12 season - with a pair of SAC victories away from Tex Turner Arena last week. On Wednesday, the Railsplitters led wire-to-wire and throttled the Tusculum College Pioneers 97-68 in Greeneville, Tennessee. Saturday provided a much more imposing test, as the Railsplitters escaped Charlotte, North Carolina with a narrow 72-71 triumph over SAC newcomer Queens University. With those two wins, Lincoln Memorial claims the second-longest road winning streak in the country with 10-straight wins in hostile territory.

The Railsplitters rank as one of the elite teams at the Division II level in several key statistical categories - second in rebounding margin (14.6), eighth in field-goal percentage (51.2), ninth in blocked shots per game (5.6), ninth in scoring margin (+16.4) and 14th in field-goal percentage defense (39.4).

Four different Railsplitters are averaging better than 10 points per game this season, and senior forward Vincent Bailey (Jennings, FL) continues to carry the load with 21.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. Bailey ranks second and third in the South Atlantic Conference respectively in those categories. Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) has posted double-figures in five of his last seven appearances, and the senior guard is averaging 12.2 points a night. Both Lorenza Ross (Savannah, GA) and Luquon Choice (Laurens, SC) are contributing just over 10 points per game. After a slow start to the season, Ross has reached the double-digit threshold in five-straight games.

Lincoln Memorial briefly returns to the Tex Turner Arena floor for a South Atlantic Conference bout against Mars Hill on Wednesday (January 22) at 8 p.m. before hitting the road for three of their next four games. Five of LMU's last seven regular-season games will be hosted in Harrogate, Tennessee.

NABC Division II Coaches Poll
1. West Liberty, W.Va. (14 first place votes)
2. Florida Southern (1 first place vote)
3. Metropolitan State, Colo.
4. Tarleton State, Texas
5. Drury, Mo.
6. East Stroudsburg, Pa.
7. Bellarmine, Ky.
8. Cal State-San Bernardino
9. Southern Indiana
10. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn.
11. Colorado School of Mines
12. California Baptist
13. South Carolina Aiken
14. Minnesota State
15. Indiana, Pa.
16. Indianapolis, Ind.
17. Montevallo, Ala.
18. Dixie State, Utah
19. Lewis, Ill.
20. Delta State, Miss.
21. Franklin Pierce, N.H.
22. Missouri Southern
23. Lake Superior State, Mich.
24. Seattle Pacific, Wash.
25. Georgia Regents University, Augusta

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