GREENEVILLE, TN - Four of Lincoln Memorial University's five starters scored double-figures, as the 11th-ranked Railsplitters led wire-to-wire to dispatch of the Tusculum College Pioneers 97-68 in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action on Wednesday in Greeneville, Tennessee. LMU wins its eighth-straight game - matching the longest winning streak of the 2012-13 campaign - to improve to 12-1 overall and 8-1 in SAC play. Tusculum, meanwhile, plummets to 1-14 on the season and 0-9 in the league with the loss.
The Railsplitters' 97 points was the fourth-highest point total they have amassed during the 2013-14 season, and LMU accumulated that mark on 52.2 percent shooting with a 35-for-67 overall clip. The 'Splitters shot a respectable 42.1 percent from long range (8-for-19), however, a 19-for-32 effort at the free-throw line limited what might have been the most productive offensive performance of the season.
Senior forward Vincent Bailey (Jennings, FL) crested the 20-point threshold for the fourth game in a row and the fifth time in his last six appearances on the court, recording a game-high 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Bailey rounded out his stat ledger with six rebounds in 29 minutes. Fellow senior Chance Jones (Knoxville, TN) poured in 18 points highlighted by a 3-for-4 mark from beyond the three-point arc. Lorenza Ross (Savannah, GA) and Luquon Choice (Laurens, SC) pitched in with 12 points apiece, while Curtis Webb (Spartanburg, SC) and Paul Woodson (Cincinnati, OH) contributed eight and nine points, respectively, off the bench. Webb also tallied eight rebounds - tying Keenan Peterson's (College Park, GA) game-high mark - with five assists and three steals in 20 minutes.
The Pioneers, who trailed from start to finish on Wednesday, were led in scoring by Darius Carter. Carter cataloged 17 points bolstered by an 11-for-14 effort at the free-throw line to go along with seven rebounds. Carter was one of only two Pioneers to notch double-digit points, as Neal Spinks posted 13 points in 23 minutes off of the Tusculum bench. Addison Flynn struggled from the field, going 3-for-9, but was able to finish the night with eight points.
Chance Jones scored four of LMU's first eight points, as the Railsplitters opened up the game on an 8-0 run which was finally brought to an end with a Chase Mounce jumper at the 15:08 mark. After less than 10 minutes ticked off the game clock, the Railsplitters had established a 35-15 lead, as Paul Woodson finished off a dish from Curtis Webb with a lay-up to give LMU that cushion.
After outscoring the Pioneers by 15 in the opening half, the Railsplitters continued to hold down the throttle in the second half, amassing a 51-37 advantage in the final 20 minutes. LMU knocked down 18 of its 34 shots in the second half for a 52.9 percent mark, a slight edge over their 51.5 percent clip in the first frame.
Lincoln Memorial dominated the paint, outscoring the Pioneers 52-32 inside the square, while amassing a 46-28 advantage on the glass. The Railsplitters capitalized on 16 Tusculum turnovers to account for 26 points off those miscues. LMU accumulated only 14 turnovers in the game while matching a season-high with 20 assists. LMU's 16 offensive rebounds - the team's second most this season - led to 18 second-chance points.
The Railsplitters are back on the road this Saturday, heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for a 4 p.m. South Atlantic Conference draw against the Queens University Royals. Lincoln Memorial topped the Royals 61-56 in Tex Turner Arena on November 23.