Railsplitters win 10th straight, routs Tennessee Wesleyan 122-62
HARROGATE, Tenn. — Following an eight-day break from game action for final exams, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team showed no signs of rust Sunday afternoon inside B. Frank “Tex” Turner Arena as the Railsplitters scored a season-best 122 points in a 60-point blowout of NAIA member Tennessee Wesleyan.
Assisting on 33 of 45 made field goals, which ties for the fourth-most assists in a single game in program history, LMU (10-1) knocked down 19 three pointers and scored 65 second-half points.
The 122-62 win is the largest margin of victory and most points scored by the Railsplitters since Dec. 11, 2017 when LMU defeated Mars Hill 156-69 at home in league action. The Railsplitters’ 19 made threes tie for the third-most in program history, while LMU’s 45 made field goals are the most this season. For the second consecutive outing, the Railsplitters went 13-for-15 (86.7%) at the free-throw line.
Six different players reached double figures in scoring led by redshirt junior guard Devin Whitfield’s 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting and season-high six 3-pointers on just 11 attempts. Junior guard Alex Dahling also surpassed 20 points, scoring a season-best 23 on 6-for-13 shooting from outside.
Held scoreless for the first minute of action, LMU trailed 4-0 after a pair of baskets in the paint by the Bulldogs (5-6). From there, the Railsplitters wasted no time in going on an 11-0 run in under two minutes, pulling in front 11-4 on a three from sophomore guard Courvoisier McCauley after just over three minutes of play.
A Whitfield trey gave the LMU its first double-digit advantage of the contest at 17-6 just over five minutes in. Not leading by more than 12 until the 9:16 mark, the Railsplitters used a 13-4 run over the following five minutes of play to build an 18-point, 39-21 lead. After just three-and-a-half minutes of on-court action, LMU found itself up by 28 thanks to a 13-0 run that was capped by a Whitfield jumper on a fastbreak.
A layup by redshirt senior guard/forward Kamaran Calhoun on a Whitfield assist found the bottom of the net as the first-half buzzer sounded, giving the Railsplitters a comfortable 57-29 lead at the break. LMU shot 55 percent (22-of-40) in the first half and hit 11 three pointers on 24 attempts (45.8%). Whitfield scored 14 first-half points on 4-for-8 three-point shooting.
A fastbreak Dahling three pointer gave the Railsplitters their first 30-point advantage of the afternoon when he connected a little over 30 seconds into the second half. Outscoring Tennessee Wesleyan 19-6 across the first 4:45 of the second half, LMU went ahead by 41 at 76-35 on a pair of free throws by redshirt junior Shaquille Rombley.
A 14-5 run over a four-minute stretch put the Railsplitters up by 50 at 90-40 with two made free throws by sophomore guard Julius Brown at the 11:22 mark. Julius Brown would hit a jumper in the paint with 7:59 to go to give LMU a 55-point advantage at 101-46 and the Railsplitters led by as much as 65 at 118-53 with just under three minutes remaining thanks to another pair of Julius Brown foul shots. The Bulldogs closed out the game on a 6-2 run over the final two minutes of play after a layup by redshirt freshman guard MJ Armstrong gave LMU its second 65-point lead at 120-55.
The Railsplitters committed a season-low six turnovers while scoring 52 points in the paint and tallying 31 points off of 21 Tennessee Wesleyan miscues. Shooting at an impressive clip of 60.5 percent (23-of-38) in the second half, LMU made eight three pointers on 17 attempts (47.1%) and went 11-for-12 (91.7%) at the charity stripe.
Senior point guard Anthony Brown notched his sixth career double-double and first of the season with 15 points and 10 assists, his first double-digit assist game of his career. McCauley finished with 14 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting, a season-best eight rebounds and a career-high tying six assists, while freshman guard Jeremiah Keene scored a career-high 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench.
Julius Brown contributed 11 points and dealt a season-best four assists in 20 minutes of action as Calhoun handed out a season-high five assists to go along with seven points and five rebounds. In addition to his 23 points, Dahling grabbed a season-best six rebounds and Whitfield dished out four assists.
Tennessee Wesleyan was led by starting center Jamesio Rhine who scored a team-high 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and got eight points and a game-best nine boards from Billy Balogun. The Bulldogs’ Riley Meloncon totaled nine points on 4-for-5 shooting off the bench.
The Railsplitters wrap up their three-game homestand Wednesday night with Lenoir-Rhyne, stepping back into South Atlantic Conference play for LMU’s first midweek conference game of 2019-20. Presented by Papa John’s Pizza, tip-off from inside Tex Turner Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
It will be the second of three games in seven days for the Railsplitters, who travel to Owensboro on Sunday for a matinee tilt at Kentucky Wesleyan.