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Fifth-ranked LMU welcomes Limestone to Tex Turner Arena Saturday afternoon

Railsplitters begin three-game homestand with Saints, seek regular season sweep of Limestone.
The Railsplitters begin a three-game homestand with Saints, seek regular season sweep of...
The Railsplitters begin a three-game homestand with Saints, seek regular season sweep of Limestone.(LMU Athletics)
Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 2:29 AM EST
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HARROGATE, Tenn. (Press Release) – Playing five games within a nine-day period, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team returns to game action and begins a three-game homestand Saturday afternoon versus first-year South Atlantic Conference member Limestone University.

The fifth-ranked Railsplitters, who lead the 13-team league with an 8-1 SAC record and 10-1 overall mark, welcome the Saints (1-6, 1-6 SAC) to B. Frank “Tex” Turner Arena for a 4:30 p.m. tip-off in Harrogate.

With the challenges of fitting in a 22-game regular season with 20 conference contests amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, LMU will host three teams within five days beginning Saturday.

The Railsplitters take on Mars Hill Monday and Carson-Newman next Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Limited Attendance

Due to the ongoing public health crisis of the COVID-19 global pandemic, LMU Athletics has a revised attendance policy for home basketball games during the 2020-21 season. Tex Turner Arena will have a limited capacity of 10% in an effort of promoting and prioritizing the health and safety of student-athletes and game day personnel. The following groups of individuals are the only permitted attendees for home LMU athletic events held inside Tex Turner Arena: student-athlete pass list designees, L Club members, 50 students, dignitaries, and game day personnel. In line with LMU’s COVID-19 policies and protocols, specific guidelines have been outlined to keep the health and safety of the LMU community the athletic department’s top priority. For LMU Athletics’ complete COVID-19 game day policies, please click here

A Top-10 Staple

On a three-game win streak, LMU is ranked among the nation’s top five in both national polls. In the sixth National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Top 25 regular season poll of 2020-21 announced this past Tuesday afternoon, the Railsplitters are No. 5. LMU received one first-place vote and is No. 2 in the second D2SID Media Poll of 2021, which was also released this past Tuesday afternoon. Receiving four first-place votes, the Railsplitters sit atop the second regular season D2SIDA Southeast Region Poll announced this past Monday morning. Due to the difficulties of the COVID-19 global pandemic, at least one of the nation’s top 25 programs has still yet to play a game this season. Several teams were removed from the NABC Top 25 following the announcement that they would no longer be eligible for the 2021 NCAA Division II Basketball Championship due to delayed season starts. LMU has spent a program record 22-straight weeks ranked in the top 10 dating back to Nov. 19, 2019 and has held a top-5 ranking a combined 58 weeks. The Railsplitters have been a top-10 team for 92 total weeks and have appeared in the national polls a total of 141 weeks since December of 2010.

Among National Leaders

Continually striving to be elite on both ends of the floor, LMU leads the nation or is near the top in several offensive and defensive statistical categories including ranking:

  • First in total assists (256)
  • First in assists per game (23.3)
  • First in total three-point field goals made (138)
  • Second in field-goal percentage (54.4 percent)
  • Second in defensive rebounds per game (31.82)
  • Second in three-point field goal attempts (332)
  • Third in three-point field goals per-game (12.5)
  • Third in total rebounds (441)
  • Third in rebound margin (11.4)
  • Fourth in scoring offense (95.0)
  • Fifth in total steals (85)
  • Fifth in scoring margin (25.2)
  • Eighth in assist-turnover ratio (1.54)
  • 11th in field-goal percentage defense (39.7)
  • 11th in three-point field goal percentage (41.6)
  • 13th in free throws made (159)

Back-to-Back Victories over the Cavaliers

For the second time within just over 48 hours the Railsplitters defeated The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, doing so Wednesday night in Wise, Virginia, behind a season-best 19 three pointers and 30 assists on 34 made baskets. In the second-straight matchup with the Cavaliers, LMU was ultra-efficient on the offensive end of the floor and overcame a slow start to earn a 92-66 road win. Holding UVA Wise to 41.4 percent shooting inside the David J. Prior Convocation Center, the Railsplitters tallied the second-most assists in a game this season and shot 54 percent from the field. Going 19-for-50 from beyond the arc (47.5 percent) and 5-for-5 at the free-throw line, LMU outrebounded the Cavaliers by an impressive 45-19 margin and grabbed a season-high tying 14 offensive boards. Erupting on offense towards the end of the first half, the Railsplitters led by as much as 31 in the second half and got exceptional play from redshirt junior guard Cameron Henry and redshirt senior guard Devin Whitfield .Having his best game of 2020-21 thus far, Henry notched his third double-double of the season by scoring a season-best 28 points and securing a season-high 14 rebounds. Whitfield did no less than turn in his ninth-straight 20-point scoring performance with 22 points, five rebounds and a block. Despite a pair of early five-point deficits, LMU used a momentum-shifting 15-4 run over a 4:11 period to take a 10-point advantage and never looked back. Redshirt senior guard Alex Dahling was also outstanding in the contest, finishing with a season-best 16 points, which included four threes, a career-high six assists and a season-high tying seven rebounds. Continuing his phenomenal play off the bench, redshirt sophomore guard/forward Xavier Bledson poured in six assists, seven points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

Looking Ahead

LMU continues its three-game homestand Monday night when the Railsplitters welcome Mars Hill to Tex Turner Arena for an 8 p.m. tip-off. Next Wednesday, Jan. 27, LMU hosts Carson-Newman for an 8 p.m. tilt before heading to Wingate next Saturday, Jan. 30. 

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