KANSAS CITY, MO -- The Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team's national ranking remained unchanged after this past week, as the Railsplitters held tight at No. 20 in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, which was unveiled late Tuesday afternoon.
The Railsplitters remained at No. 20 in the poll despite taking a convincing 75-68 victory over previously unbeaten King College on Sunday afternoon. LMU scored the first seven points of the contest and built as large as a 15-point lead en route to a wire-to-wire win over the Tornado in Tex Turner Arena. King was one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the Southeast Region coming into that contest as the Railsplitters upended the Tornado to jump to 7-1 on the season.
Lincoln Memorial boasts the 10th-highest scoring margin in the nation with a plus 20 scoring differential over their opponents this season, which is a tribute to the Railsplitters' potent combination of high-octane offense and stingy defense. LMU ranks 21st in the country in scoring offense (84.8 points per game) and 15th nationally in field-goal percentage (50%), while sitting in 44th among all Division II schools in field-goal percentage defense (39.3). As a unit, the Railsplitters rank 10th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, hitting on 43.3 percent of their attempts, and limiting their foes to 26.8 percent, ranking 13th overall. The Railsplitters' rebound margin of 9.4 per game also places them in elite company nationally, as they rank 16th in the NCAA Division II.
The offensive unit for the Railsplitters is highlighted by a group of four players averaging double-figure scoring numbers this season and two more that sit just below that mark. Jake Troyli is currently leading the Railsplitters in scoring this season, pouring in 15 points per outing to go along with an average of 5.3 rebounds per appearance. The front court is also bolstered by the play of Vincent Bailey and Dustin Craig, as Bailey is scoring 12.8 points per and reigning in a team-leading 7.8 boards while Craig has compiled 8.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per outing. Vincent Bailey has tallied two double-doubles since returning from injury on November 28th and narrowly missed adding another to his resume on Sunday's win over King with 15 points and seven boards. Bailey piled in 14 rebounds in the Railsplitters' overtime triumph over Newberry, which stands as the highest number recorded for LMU this season.
The Railsplitters' back court is paced by a trio of players producing at a high level this season, headlined by Wally Jones, who was named the Railsplitter of the Week and the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week. Wally led Lincoln Memorial to victory on Sunday with a season-high 21 points. For the season, Jones ranks second on the team with 14.1 points per game to go along with an average of 4.1 rebounds per contest to lead the guards. Jones also ranks fourth in the SAC and 11th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (50%) and paces the Railsplitters with 23 made three-pointers.
Lorenza Ross has raked in an average of 10 points per contest in his second season at Lincoln Memorial, while senior Cam Carden is holding steady at 9.1 points per appearance. Carden leads the Railsplitters in minutes played this season (264), compiling a 2.16 assist-to-turnover ratio.
With this appearance in the poll, the Railsplitters extended their streak of consecutive weeks ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll to 34 dating back to December 8th of 2010.
This announcement comes on the eve of the Railsplitters' upcoming contest against Augusta State University, who moved to No. 12 in this week's NABC/Division II poll after a 5-0 start to the season. The Railsplitters and Jaguars are set to tangle on Wednesday, December 19th in Augusta, Georgia for an early season battle with regional and national implication on the line. Tip off in the "Jam the JBA" game is set for 6:00 p.m. at James Brown Arena in downtown Augusta.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll
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