WISE, Va. - Lincoln Memorial entered Saturday's game unbeaten and ranked 11th in the latest NCAA DII poll. The Railsplitters left the David J. Prior Convocation Center with a loss as host UVa-Wise overcame an 11 point halftime deficit to post an 81-80 overtime victory.
The majority of the game's opening half was nip and tuck as neither team led by more than four points until the final two minutes of the period. LMU used the final two minutes of the half to go on a 9-0 run to go up 46-35 at the intermission. C.J. Wakeley was a perfect 6-6 from the field as he scored 12 first half points to aid the Railsplitters to the halftime lead. As a team, LMU shot 51.4 percent in the opening half while UVa-Wise shot 50 percent from the field.
UVa-Wise started the second half in a similar fashion to how LMU ended the first half. The Cavaliers outscored the Railsplitters 16-5 in the first 2:54 of the second half to tie the score at 51-51. In the stretch, UVa-Wise connected on two, three point baskets; Javon Moore made two of the three point field goals for the Cavs en route to a game-high 20 points. The remainder of the game saw neither team stretch its lead to double-digits. The largest lead came with four minutes to play when Wally Jones' three point shot found the bottom of the net to extend LMU's lead to seven at 73-67.
One possession later, Darius Smith scored in the paint for UVa-Wise to make the score 73-68 with 3:31 to play. Following a scoreless possession by the Railsplitters, the undersized Cavs went to work on the glass. UVa-Wise would collect three offensive rebounds on its next possession before Moore scored from inside to cut the margin to three. Wakeley responded for LMU to extend the lead back to five only to have Matt Day hit a three from the top of the key to make the score 75-73 in favor of the visitors with 2:25 remaining. The shot by Day would be the last made field goal until the clock showed 32 seconds; Smith drove the lane and dished off to Jermaine Wright who connected in the paint to tie the score at 75-75. LMU would get two looks at the basket in the final seconds only to have both shots come up no-good sending the squad to its second overtime game in as many games.
In the extra session, neither team found much success on the offensive end. LMU's Vincent Bailey broke the ice with a jumper nearly two minutes into the period. Two possessions later, Day drove to the basket and received contact from Cam Carden; Day's shot went in and the official called a blocking foul to give the freshman a shot to give UVa-Wise the lead. The Buckhorn, Ky. native was true on the free throw attempt to give the Cavs a 78-77 lead with 2:23 to play. LMU regained the lead 20 seconds later when Bailey knocked down a jumper, it would be the team's last lead of the game. Neither side scored until the final 26 seconds when Day made two free throws to put UVa-Wise back on top. The next trip down the floor, Bailey split a pair of free throws to tie the game with 18 seconds to play.
UVa-Wise ran the clock down to three seconds before Smith began his drive to the hoop, the junior was fouled on the drive sending him to the line for a two-shot opportunity. Smith made the first free throw before missing the second, LMU rebounded the miss but, a last second heave came up short sealing the upset for UVa-Wise.
In addition to Moore's game-high 20 points, the guard grabbed ten rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Day also finished with a double-double as he finished with 15 points and ten rebounds on 5-12 shooting from the field. Smith added 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the win while James Turner scored ten points and grabbed five rebounds.
The victory is the second of the season for UVa-Wise over a NCAA DII opponent and improved the team's overall mark to 5-5. The Cavs will return to action on December 17 when Virginia-Lynchburg visits Wise for "Kids Day". Tip-off is set for noon and the action can be heard on www.uvawisecavs.com