LMU beats UVA Wise to win SAC title

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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The Lincoln Memorial men’s basketball team beat UVA Wise 92-79 on Senior Night at Tex Turner Arena on Wednesday to sweep the season series with the Cavaliers and clinch at least a tie of the South Atlantic Conference regular season championship.

The No. 12 Railsplitters (26-3, 16-2 SAC) led 51-42 at the break and by double digits for the balance of the second half, with an advantage that extended to as many as 21 points at 88-67 with under three minutes to play.

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Me’Kell Burries dropped a career high 31 points on 11 of 17 shooting (8-12 on 3-pointers) to spur the Railsplitters to another efficient offensive outing. Lincoln Memorial shot 50.7 percent (35-69) from the field, 45.2 percent (14-31) from long range and 100 percent (8-8) at the charity stripe.

Five other Railsplitters chipped in double figures points including Chase Rankin (10 points, 11 assists and six rebounds) and Martez Brown (10 points and 13 rebounds) who collected double-doubles. Jordan Guest, on a night he was recognized for his last regular season contest at Turner Arena, contributed 13 points and seven rebounds, while Luke Bartemes and Jordan Walters added a dozen points each.

SAC leading scorer Bradley Dean was limited to an inefficient 15 points (6-18 field goals) for a UVA Wise offense that shot 39.7 percent (27-68) from the field overall. Lincoln Memorial dominated inside, claiming decisive margins in rebounds (47-31) and points in the paint (42-18).

Catawba would split the regular season crown with Lincoln Memorial if it beats Tusculum on Saturday.

The Railsplitters were off Saturday and will hosting a yet-to-be-determined opponent for a SAC Tournament Quarterfinal game on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

LMU drops Senior Night decision

Alexa Smiddy scored 24 points for LMU as the Lady Railsplitters fell 69-62 to UVA Wise on Wednesday on Senior Night in Harrogate.

Saquita Joyner had 15 points and eight rebounds and Lauren Flowers finished with 10 points for LMU (16-11, 9-9).

Nia Vanzant and Caitlyn Ross tossed in 21 points and 20 points, respectively for UVA Wise (15-13,6-11).