Simmons Snags Second AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week Award ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Lincoln Memorial University senior guard Gerel Simmons (Accokeek, Md.) hung up two monster offensive performances this past week to garner his second AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week honor of the 2015-16 season, it was announced by the league office on Monday, Feb. 15.
Simmons helped the fourth-ranked Railsplitters (22-2, 18-0 SAC) extend the best start in SAC history to 18-0 last week by averaging a ridiculous 33 points, six assists and five rebounds per game on 54.8 shooting, including an 8-for-14 mark from three-point range. The Accokeek, Md. native also went 12-for-13 at the free-throw line.
Simmons (pictured) fueled Lincoln Memorial's 103-92 win at Tusculum on Wednesday night by racking up 34 points on 12-for-19 shooting coupled with five assists and three rebounds. The 6-2 transfer from Brevard hit 10 of his 13 shot attempts in the first half to put up 22 points.
In Saturday's 107-97 shootout win over Newberry, Simmons finished with a near triple-double, tallying 32 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. He went 11-for-23 from the field and hit 5-of-10 from three-point territory to help the Railsplitters overcome Newberry's second-half surge.
Simmons surpassed 30 points for the third and fourth time this season.
Lincoln Memorial has now accounted for five of the last eight SAC Player of the Week recipients, while Simmons nabbed his second Player of the Week award of the season and first since January 11.
Simmons is ranked fourth in the SAC in scoring with 20.3 points per game, while his 48.2 percent mark from three-point range is the best in the league. He is shooting 53.4 percent from the field this season, grabbing 3.9 rebounds per game and dishing out 2.9 assists per appearance
The Railsplitters are back in action on Wednesday night, when they welcome the Mars Hill Lions to Tex Turner Arena for an 8 p.m. tip.
Pittman Pegged as AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Lincoln Memorial University junior forward Megan Pittman (Liberty, Ky.) turned in back-to-back double-doubles this past week to earn the first AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week plaudit of her career, it was announced by the league office on Monday, Feb. 15.
Pittman (pictured) averaged 18.5 points and 14 rebounds per game while notching her 10th and 11th double-doubles of the 2015-16 campaign to help the Lady Railsplitters (14-9, 11-7 SAC) split a pair of SAC games this past week. The Liberty, Ky. native and Coastal Carolina transfer kicked off the week by scoring 22 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and picking up four steals in a 70-61 win at Tusculum, which saw Lincoln Memorial rally from 13 points down to sweep the season series from the Pioneers. Pittman converted nine of her 16 shot attempts and went 4-of-5 at the charity stripe in that contest. In Saturday's 80-71 overtime loss to Newberry, Pittman scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, corralled 12 rebounds and dished out two assists in 33 minutes of action. The 5-11 forward went 3-for-4 at the free-throw line while battling through foul trouble for most of the game. Pittman is putting up 12.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game on 52.2 percent shooting this season, ranking first in the South Atlantic Conference in rebounds per game and fourth in field-goal percentage. She becomes only the fifth player in program history to win SAC Player of the Week honors and the second this season, joining Britney Guy (Locust Grove, Ga.), who received that distinction on January 25. The Lady Railsplitters are back in action on Wednesday night, when they welcome the second-place Mars Hill Lions to Tex Turner Arena for a 6 p.m. tip.
Choice Named to Bevo Francis Award Top 50 Watch List
BALDWIN CITY, Kan. -- Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball junior shooting guard Luquon Choice (Laurens, S.C.) has been placed on the Bevo Francis Award Top 50 Watch List, it was announced by Small College Basketball on Monday. The second installment of the Bevo Francis Award Watch List consists of 50 of the finest men's basketball players in the country who compete in the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and NCCAA as chosen by a national committee. In the evaluation process, the committee gives consideration to season statistics, individual achievements, awards, personal character and team achievements. The Top 100 Watch List was released on January 15.
Choice (pictured) is the only player from either the South Atlantic Conference or the Southeast Region noted on the Top 50 Watch List, as he has played a key role in helping the fourth-ranked Railsplitters (22-2, 18-0 SAC) author the best start to South Atlantic Conference play in league history. The Laurens, S.C. native is averaging 17 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from three-point territory this season. Choice is second in the SAC in three-point field-goal percentage despite leading the league with 180 attempts. He has hit a program-record 10 three-pointers in two different games this season to rack up 86 triples total, which is 14 away from matching LMU's single-season record for threes. Choice is the current record holder in that department with 100 from the 2014-15 campaign. Choice has scored at least 20 points nine times this season, highlighted by his career-high 38-point outburst at Carson-Newman on January 27. He scored 32 points on Saturday in the Railsplitters' win over Newberry, hitting 10 three-pointers to help Lincoln Memorial surpass 100 points for the 12th time this season. Choice is 50 three-pointers away from matching Nick Sanford (1986-90) for LMU's career record for made three-pointers. He is currently second on that list with 247 treys. The complete Bevo Francis Award Top 50 Watch List can be found here. The field will be narrowed to 25 on March 15. About Bevo Francis Bevo Francis played at Rio Grande College (now the University of Rio Grande) in Ohio in 1952-53 and 1953-54. When he arrived on campus, the school had 38 male students enrolled in the school and was on the verge of bankruptcy, planning to close its doors at the end of the 1952-53 school year. In the season before Bevo arrived at Rio Grande, the Redmen (now the Red Storm) had gone 4-19. During his two seasons at Rio Grande, Bevo became the most popular basketball player in the world, and ultimately helped to save the school from bankruptcy. During his first year, the Redmen went 39-0, and Bevo scored 1,954 points and averaged 50.1 points per game. Against Ashland College (KY), Francis scored 116 points, which included 55 points in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Photos by Jamie H. Vaught