JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- Junior guard Luquon Choice (pictured) matched Lincoln Memorial's single-game record for three-pointers and scored a career-high 38 points to lead the seventh-ranked Railsplitters (17-2, 13-0 SAC) past the Carson-Newman Eagles (11-8, 7-6 SAC) 100-89 in Jefferson City, Tenn. on Wednesday night, Jan. 27.
The battle between two of the nation's three most efficient offensive teams lived up to the hype, as there weren't many missed shots to go around at Holt Fieldhouse. The Railsplitters finished 36-for-62 from the field for a 58.1 percent clip, while the Eagles went 33-for-54 from the floor to record a 61.1 percent mark, which is the second-highest field-goal percentage by an LMU opponent of the Josh Schertz era. But the difference came from three-point territory, where Lincoln Memorial bombed in 16 of its 32 attempts as compared to a 7-for-16 effort by Carson-Newman.
Choice was the catalyst for LMU's sharpshooting, as the Laurens, S.C. native matched his teammate Jalen Steele (Knoxville, Tenn.) for the single-game program record for three-pointers by draining 10 of his 17 tries. The junior shooting guard finished 14-for-22 from the field with a career-high 38 points coupled with four rebounds and two assists. Choice's career night could have been even better, too, as he scored his last points of the game with 11 minutes left in regulation.
"Luquon was extraordinary tonight," Schertz said. "For the first 29 minutes of the game, that's as dominant of an offensive performance as I've ever seen in my 18 years in this profession. He was on fire and his teammates did a great job of finding him. He also did a great job of moving around and finding areas of the zone where he could get shots. Obviously it's a group effort, but he was beyond exceptional."
A player had never made 10 three-pointers in a game in the history of the LMU men's hoops program before this season, but now it's been done twice, as Steele canned 10 three-pointers in a 40-point performance back on December 19 at Newberry. Choice topped his previous career-high for points, which was 34.
Gerel Simmons (Accokeek, Md.) added 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting with five rebounds and three assists, while Steele pitched in 14 points and six assists. Dorian Pinson (Greenville, S.C.) filled up the stat sheet in characteristic fashion, compiling nine points, five rebounds and six assists.
With the win, Lincoln Memorial sweeps the regular-season series from Carson-Newman and takes a 101-100 lead in the longest running series in program history. The Railsplitters also improved to 13-0 in SAC play and moved one win away from matching the 2010-11 and 2014-15 teams for the longest SAC winning streaks in program history.
Lincoln Memorial returns to action on Saturday, January 30, when they host the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears in SAC action at Tex Turner Arena at 4 p.m.
Lady Railsplitters Drop To Carson-Newman
One of the better shooting performances of the season by the Lady Railsplitters (11-6, 8-5 SAC) fell short as free throw shooting down the stretch by host Carson-Newman (14-5, 8-5 SAC) overcame a furious LMU rally as the Lady Railsplitters fell 72-70 Wednesday evening at Holt Fieldhouse. LMU was led by a balanced scoring attack that saw 11 of the 12 Lady Railsplitters who played score. Shea Coker (Knoxville, Tenn.), Stephanie Smith (La Vergne, Tenn.) and Kiara Rawls (Killeen, Texas) had 10 points each to lead LMU. Coker went 5-7 from the field, Smith 5-9 and Rawls 4-7 from the field, 1-2 from three point range and 1-4 from the free throw line. Smith also led LMU on the boards with six rebounds. The Lady Railsplitters went 50% (32-64) from the field, 36% (4-11) from three-point range and 36% (4-11) from the free throw line for the game. Both teams had 37 rebounds and 14 turnovers.
The Lady Railsplitters host Lenoir-Rhyne at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 in the Tex Turner Arena. L-R comes into the contest with a 6-10 overall record and 5-7 SAC record following Wednesday's 66-63 at Wingate.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught