No. 11 LMU Railsplitters Clinch 5th Straight League Crown With 92-81 Win Saturday; Eighth-Ranked Lad
SALISBURY, N.C. - Luquon Choice scored a game-high 25 points, while Deshawn Patterson poured in a career-high 20 points as the 11th-ranked Railsplitters (24-4, 19-3 SAC) clinched a share of their fifth consecutive South Atlantic Conference regular-season title with a 92-81 win over Catawba (18-10, 12-10 SAC) on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Goodman Gymnasium. Lincoln Memorial is now 82-6 in conference play over the past four seasons combined. The Railsplitters, who wrap up the regular-season slate with wins in 14 consecutive games, finished tied with Queens atop the league standings, but will serve as the No. 1 seed for next week's SAC Championship by virtue of their 2-0 record against Wingate. Lincoln Memorial will host eight-seeded Tusculum at 8 p.m. at Tex Turner Arena on Wednesday night in quarterfinal-round action. "Winning the league championship is a huge accomplishment," said LMU head coach Josh Schertz, who has guided the Railsplitters to six of the last seven SAC titles. "It's a lot of hard work going all the way back to the offseason program and a lot of tough games. We've won a lot of games on the road, which is always hard to do. Tonight was another one. "We still have more we can accomplish. Our goals can now be reset. That was the first one; to win the league. It's something to be proud of and we accomplished it. But it's time to reset and accomplish more this year."
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The No. 8 Lady Railsplitters basketball team added another accolade to an already-record breaking season as they won the program's first-ever South Atlantic Conference Championship in women's basketball with the 89-67 win at Catawba Saturday afternoon.
The conference title is the first outright conference championship for LMU in women's basketball since the 1988-89 season. LMU won the Eastern Division of the Gulf South Conference in 2001 and 2003 but did not win the overall GSC championship. It is LMU's first conference title in the school's NCAA era and the fourth overall since the school re-instated women's basketball in the early 1970s. The win also improves the Lady Railsplitters to 24-3 on the season and 19-3 in the SAC. The 19 conference wins are the most in program history. LMU is currently ranked eighth in the NCAA Division II SIDA National Media Poll and ninth in the WBCA/USA Today Division II Coaches' Poll LMU finished the regular season having basically led in the conference standings from start to finish. Wingate and Anderson finish tied for second with 18-4 records. Both entered the day with an outside chance to claim at least a share of the regular-season crown, but LMU's win coupled with Anderson's win over Wingate gave the Lady Railsplitters the outright title. The team now is the top seed in this week's SAC Tournament and will open play vs. eighth-seeded Queens Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in the Tex Turner Arena. Should they win they would then reach the SAC Tournament semifinals for the second straight season. The semifinals and finals will be held at the Timmons Arena on the Furman University campus in Greeneville, S.C. March 4-5. Megan Pittman led the way with her double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds. It was Pittman's 14th double-double of the season and the 32nd of her career, which ties her with Hillary Ross (2000-04) for the school record in double-doubles. Rachel Griffith had a career-high 15 points while Shea Coker dded in 14. Josey Harding had her ninth double-double and the 6th best rebounding performance in school history with her 10 points and 19 rebounds.
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