HARROGATE, Tenn. - The fourth time was the charm for the No. 7 nationally ranked Queens Royals, who topped the No. 1 Railsplitters 69-57 in the championship game of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Tuesday night, March 13 at Tex Turner Arena to book a trip to the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D. Lincoln Memorial (32-2), which fell just short in its quest to win a third straight region title, ends the 2017-18 campaign with the second-most wins in South Atlantic Conference and program history. Queens (31-3), meanwhile, earned its first bid to the Elite Eight since 2003 and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Railsplitters, which included three setbacks this season as well as a loss on its home court in the 2017 Southeast Regional title game. In addition to that, the Royals snapped LMU's 21-game winning streak and ended the Railsplitters' 25-game winning streak at Tex Turner Arena. In the biggest game of the season, shots simply did not fall for Lincoln Memorial. The Railsplitters, who led the nation in field-goal percentage offense for nearly the entire season, shot 38.6 percent, went 3-for-15 from three and mustered their second-lowest point total of the year. The Royals from North Carolina weren't much better, shooting 44.2 percent with an 8-for-23 mark from three, but came up with the shots they needed in the most pivotal moments of the game. Dorian Pinson and Emanuel Terry - the program's two longest tenured seniors - led the Railsplitters in their final game at Tex Turner Arena and were both named to the Southeast Regional All-Tournament Team. Pinson scored 16 points with eight rebounds and two assists, while Terry produced his 16th double-double of the season with 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Pinson and Terry end their careers as the winningest players in conference and program history with a remarkable 126-14 record. Over their four years, the Railsplitters won four SAC regular-season titles, two SAC tournament championships, amassed four straight 30-win seasons and won two region championships. Josh Odem scored 11 points in the final game of his one and only season with the Railsplitters. Trevon Shaw, the team's final senior, was limited to five points and one three-pointer to fall eight points shy of cracking the 1,000-point threshold and two triples short of matching the SAC and program single-season record. Ike Agusi led Queens to victory with 16 points, while Jalin Alexander, the Southeast Regional Most Outstanding Player, scored 13. Lewis Diankulu added 12 points and seven rebounds, while Mike Davis contributed 10 points.
Photos by Jamie H. Vaught
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