CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The second-seeded and No. 15 Railsplitters (29-5) used a suffocating defensive performance and a 15-4 second-half run to defeat the top-seeded and No. 6 Queens Royals (30-4) 82-68 to win the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Tuesday night, March 14 inside the Levine Center. With the win, Lincoln Memorial books its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which is being hosted in Sioux Falls, South Dakota March 22-25.
In the previous three meetings between Lincoln Memorial and Queens this season, the two teams were separated by a total of three points. The Royals had a 2-1 edge after defeating the Railsplitters in the Levine Center during the regular season and also pulling out a three-point win in the South Atlantic Conference Championship title game, which awarded Queens the right to host the Southeast Regional. The fourth and final meeting, and the one with far and away the biggest stakes, played out in similar fashion with 17 lead changes and eight ties through the first 30 minutes of action. But down the stretch, an unlikely hero emerged to carry the Railsplitters to victory, as freshman guard Deshawn Patterson scored all 16 of his team-leading points in the second half, including 10 points during a 15-4 run that put Lincoln Memorial ahead by nine points with six minutes to play. Along with Patterson, Trevon Shaw -- the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Most Outstanding Player -- and Emanuel Terry scored 15 points apiece and combined for 13 rebounds. Paul Woodson racked up 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks, while Chris Perry had eight points and eight boards. Perry was also named to the Southeast Region All-Tournament team. As a footnote in the Railsplitters' second straight Southeast Region title, Luquon Choice was limited to just four points on 1-of-9 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, but did become the fourth player in program history and the third in South Atlantic Conference history to reach 2,000 career points. LMU is heading back to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the second straight season, where the Railsplitters will be looking to make a return trip to the national championship game. The Railsplitters will learn their opponent for the national quarterfinal game after the remainder of the Elite Eight participants are determined and reseeded on Wednesday.
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