NEWBERRY, S.C. -- Senior guard Jalen Steele (pictured), a native of Knoxville, Tenn., carried a reputation as a deadly three-pointer shooter when he decided to transfer to Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tenn. (near Middlesboro, Ky.) for his final college season.
That was a reputation built during his prep tenure at Knoxville's Fulton High School and reinforced over a three-year stay at Mississippi State. Though he was tied for the team lead with 25 made three-pointers through the team's first 10 games, LMU head coach Josh Schertz knew that an eruption was still in the works for Steele.
That moment arrived on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 19, as Steele broke the LMU's single-game record for made three-pointers and racked up 40 points to lead the 13th-ranked Railsplitters (10-1, 6-0 SAC) to a 115-94 victory over the Newberry Wolves (8-4, 3-3 SAC) in South Atlantic Conference men's hoops action at Eleazer Arena.
The win extended the Railsplitters' winning streak to 10 games, giving the program its 6th winning streak of 10 games or longer in the Schertz era.
Steele went 10-for-12 from three-point territory to become the first LMU men's basketball player to make double-digit three-pointers in a game, surpassing both David Hopper (twice in 1991) and Mark Mattson (1996) for the program's single-game record.
Steele finished 13-for-15 from the field and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe while adding eight rebounds and three assists.
Gerel Simmons notched 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Luquon Choice scored 17 points with five three-pointers, and Curtis McMillion contributed 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting to aide the Railsplitters' offensive explosion.
Quick Hits The Railsplitters surpassed the century mark for the sixth time this season and poured in their most points against a SAC opponent since 2012...Newberry outrebounded Lincoln Memorial 39-38 with 16 offensive boards, which led to 11 second-chance points...The Railsplitters had 10 second-half turnovers and 16 in the game. Newberry scored 20 points off of those miscues...LMU improved to 14-6 all-time against Newberry and won at Eleazer Arena for the sixth straight time...Steele became the second Railsplitter to reach 40 points in a game this season, joining Simmons, who accomplished that feat against Carson-Newman. Prior to this season, no LMU player had scored 40 points in a game since D'Mario Curry in 2010.
Up Next After briefly breaking for the holidays, the Railsplitters travel to Louisville, Ky. for the final nonconference test of the 2015-16 season, facing the 19th-ranked Bellarmine Knights on January 2. LMU and Bellarmine claim the second- and third-highest winning percentages in the NCAA Division II over the last five seasons combined.
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LMU Women Win
After being outrebounded for just the sixth time in Coach Krystal Evans era in Wednesday's loss to Wingate, the Lady Railsplitters wanted to reclaim their identity as a tough and physical rebounding team to close out the 2015 portion of the schedule on a strong note. Lincoln Memorial (7-4, 4-2 SAC) did just that on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 19, amassing a 52-28 rebounding edge and scoring 28 second-chance points to pace a 68-56 win over the Newberry Wolves (5-6, 4-2 SAC) in South Atlantic Conference women's hoops action at Eleazer Arena. The win snapped the Lady Railsplitters' 11-game losing streak in Newberry, S.C., which dated back to the 2006-07 season. It also avenged a season-ending loss to the Wolves in the quarterfinals of the 2015 SAC Championship. Megan Pittman, who is from Liberty, Ky.,tallied her sixth double-double of the season with 22 points and 15 rebounds on 8-for-15 shooting.
Mississippi State Athletics Photo