top of page
Bob Dixon.jpg

Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

No. 2 Lincoln Memorial Wins Season Opener

HARROGATE, Tenn. Despite not seeing action on the hardwood versus an outside opponent in eight and a half months, the second-ranked Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team showed hardly any signs of rust Saturday evening inside B. Frank "Tex" Turner Arena. The Railsplitters picked up their nation-leading 33rd-straight victory with a convincing 80-62 South Atlantic Conference win over visiting Newberry College to begin their 2020-21 campaign.

Cameron Henry of LMU runs past his opponent during Saturday night's season opener at Harrogate. (:LMU Photo by Ray Welch)

Eager to pick up where they left off after the COVID-19 global pandemic put an abrupt end to LMU's 2019-20 season, the Railsplitters used an impressive first half and 51.9 percent shooting to upend the Wolves. Behind a trio of double-figure scorers, LMU's new-look starting lineup had no problems sparking a team-first offense that assisted on 18 of its 28 made baskets.

Improving to 12-3 in SAC openers, the Railsplitters connected on 10 threes while holding Newberry to 37.9 percent (22-of-58) shooting and only four treys. Deadlocked with the Wolves on the glass, LMU scored 36 points in the paint, 14 on the fast break and 14 off of turnovers with seven steals.

With only one returning starter in their lineup and without the services of preseason All-American guard Devin Whitfield, the Railsplitters had no shortage of offense in the opening 20 minutes of play. After trailing by three early, junior point guard Julius Brown drained a deep ball to ignite a methodical 18-5 run over the next 10 minutes of play. Back-to-back three pointers from senior guard Alex Dahling gave LMU a commanding 29-13 lead with five minutes to go in the half. Another Dahling long ball and consecutive baskets by Brown and redshirt junior guard Cameron Henry put the Railsplitters in front by 19 at 36-17 at the 2:47 mark of the first half.

LMU would go up by as much as 21 following a dunk by junior transfer forward Jordan Guest and four-straight Henry free throws but Newberry's Quandaveon McCollum hit a layup at the first-half buzzer to make it 42-23. Shooting 55.2 percent (16-of-29) in the half, the Railsplitters held the Wolves to 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from the field during the first 20 minutes of action as Newberry went 1-for-8 from distance and got to the free-throw line just twice.

Back-to-back threes from Guest and Dahling pushed LMU in front by 23 at 52-29 five minutes into the second half, before the Wolves went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes forcing head coach Josh Schertz to call a timeout. Newberry starting guard TJ Brown knocked down a three pointer to make it a 14-point game at 52-38.

The series of made shots by the Wolves forced the Railsplitters to respond with a 13-4 run of their own, which was capped with consecutive treys from Dahling and redshirt freshman guard Luke Bartemes. LMU went ahead 65-42 with just under 10 minutes to go and pushed its lead to the largest of the day at 25 when redshirt sophomore guard Chase Rankin made a pair of foul shots at the 6:33 mark. The Railsplitters would continue to lead by at least 20 until the final 3:18 of the game where Newberry outscored LMU 7-5.

Shooting 48 percent (12-of-25) in the second half, the Railsplitters went 9-for-11 at the charity strip in the final 20 minutes of play as the Wolves improved their offensive production by going 12-for-29 from the floor (41.4 percent) and 3-for-8 (37.5 percent) from distance. Newberry was 12-for-16 (75 percent) at the free-throw line in the second half.

Preseason All-American and preseason All-SAC First Team pick Henry led LMU with 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting, five rebounds and a game-high four steals. Brown poured in 18 points on a 7-for-10 performance with five rebounds and zero turnovers, while Dahling went 5-for-10 from long range for 15 points, collected five rebounds and distributed a trio of assists. In his Railsplitter debut, Guest scored nine points and pulled down six boards.

Getting back onto the court for the first time since Feb. 20, 2019, redshirt sophomore guard/forward Xavier Bledson tallied six points to go along with a team-leading seven rebounds and game-high six assists. Bartemes, redshirt freshman forward Simon Wilbar and redshirt freshman guard Me'Kell Burries all made their first appearance in an LMU jersey and scored their first career points.

TJ Brown led all scorers with 22 points for the Wolves and claimed a game-high nine rebounds. McCollum (12) and starting point guard Marcus Ford (10) also scored in double figures for Newberry as starting guard Robin Bedford recorded six points, seven boards and a team-best four assists.

The triumph marks the 153rd win for the Railsplitters in Harrogate since the start of the 2010-11 season.

Up Next

LMU hits the road for an early-week affair at Coker Tuesday, Nov. 24 with tip-off from inside the DeLoach Center in Hartsville, South Carolina, scheduled for 8 p.m. The Railsplitters then return from Thanksgiving and begin a four-game homestand by hosting Tusculum University next Saturday, Nov. 28 at 4:30 p.m.


edward Jones Ad 2.jpg
bottom of page