Splitters fall to No. 6 in NABC/Division II coaches poll

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After suffering through its first loss of the 2017-18 campaign just before the winter break, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball has team dropped two spots to No. 6 in the latest NABC/Division II rankings, which were released on Tuesday. The Railsplitters (11-1) are the highest ranked one-loss team in the nation and sit ahead of three unbeaten teams in the top 25 coaches poll.

The Railsplitters’ season-opening 11-game winning streak was snapped by No. 1 nationally-ranked Northwest Missouri State on December 19 in Owensboro. The defending national champion Bearcats used a 27-4 run to open the second half to power the 79-67 victory in a rematch of the 2017 national semifinals. It was only the second loss for Lincoln Memorial in its last 17 games, both of which have come at the hands of Northwest Missouri State.

Prior to that, the Railsplitters ground out a 98-94 win at Newberry to cap a perfect 4-0 week that also included a record-breaking 156-69 win over Mars Hill. The wins over Wingate, Mars Hill and Newberry pushed Lincoln Memorial to 5-0 in South Atlantic Conference play.

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Northwest Missouri State was followed in the poll by Queens, who received the only first-place vote not allotted to the Bearcats. The Railsplitters will face Queens twice during the regular season as part of the SAC schedule with the first matchup coming on Jan. 13 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Queens was followed by No. 3 Bellarmine, No. 4 West Liberty and No. 5 Christian Brothers, while No. 7 Barry, No. 8 UT-Permian Basin, No. 9 Arkansas-Fort Smith and No. 10 Ferris State rounded out the top 10.

The Railsplitters, who are ranked No. 7 in the D2SIDA media poll, return to action on Dec. 30 when they travel to Hickory, North Carolina to face the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears in South Atlantic Conference action. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.