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Longwood (7-24) vs. UNC-Asheville (16-15)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 5, 2 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: HTC Center (3,600) -- Conway, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Longwood 4-9, UNC-Asheville 10-5. Away Record: Longwood 2-14, UNC-Asheville 6-7. Neutral Record: Longwood 1-1, UNC Asheville 0-3. Conference Record: Longwood 4-12, UNC-Asheville 10-6. Series Record: UNC-Asheville leads, 3-0.

GAMES NOTES: The two-time defending Big South champion UNC-Asheville Bulldogs will begin their title defense in the first round of the 2013 conference tournament at the HTC Center against the Longwood Lancers on Tuesday.

Not much was expected of Longwood this season as it was its first as a member of the Big South and second at the Division I level. The Lancers struggled all season and finished with a 7-24 overall record along with a 4-12 mark against league foes. The Lancers did manage wins in four of their final six conference contests to end the season but it was too little too late as they come into this tournament as the sixth seed out of the North Division.

Asheville is gunning for its third straight Big South tourney title and fifth overall. The Bulldogs looked to be well on their way when they won seven straight games into February. However they stumbled down the stretch with setbacks in six of their last seven games. The tough end to the season left the Bulldogs 16-15 overall and 10-6 in league play, which was enough to earn the No. 3 seed out of the South Division.

This will be just the fourth meeting all-time between these teams. When they met as Big South foes for the first time earlier this season Asheville escaped with a 68-65 victory on the road.

Even though Longwood had one of its more successful stretches during the final weeks of the season, the Lancers were dispatched, 94-80, in the finale against VMI. The Lancers perimeter defense was severely lacking in the contest as they allowed the Keydets to drop in 16 shots from beyond the arc.

Defense in general has not been Longwood's strong suit as it continues to acquaint itself with the level of competition at the Division I level. The Lancers were lit up for 81.5 points per game on 48.7 percent shooting this season which were each among the bottom five marks in the country. The Lancers were also one of the worst teams on the boards (32.8 pg) in the Big South. Tristan Carey (15.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) is the leading scorer on the roster as well as the teams most dangerous threat from distance as he has hit a team-high 76 3-pointers. Michael Kessens (13.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg) has shot a team best 53.2 percent from the floor while patrolling the interior and Jeylani Dublin (10.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg) can score efficiently as the third option.

UNCA also had a let down in its final game of the regular season. The Bulldogs dropped a 70-61 decision on the road against Winthrop in the contest by shooting just 31.8 percent from the floor while allowing the Eagles to make good on 50 percent.

Jeremy Atkinson (17 ppg, 7.0 rpg) put in an average performance by his standards in the contest, scoring 17 points to go with seven rebounds. The 6- foot-4 forward doesn't have a ton of size but still scores and rebounds well. In fact, Atkinson has been in double figures in 38 of the last 39 games for the Bulldogs dating back to last season. Keith Hornsby (15.1 ppg) teams with Atkinson to form one of the better scoring tandems in the conference. No other player on the team scores in double figures though Trent Meyer (9.9 pg, 4.0 apg) has shown flashes of scoring ability while leading the way distribution wise. D.J. Cunningham (7.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.1 bpg) is a force on defense as he leads the Big South in blocks (93) and is just one rejection from setting the Asheville single season record.

Even though UNCA was not as dominant as it had been in years past in the Big South, it would still be a major shock if Longwood was able to knock off the defending champs.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UNC-Asheville 76, Longwood 64

03/05 11:31:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
 
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
 
4th
BST 25
AKR 21
 
4th
GASTATE 31
GASO 62
 
4th
TOL 35
UMASS 35
 
4th
WMICH 35
OHIO 14
 
4th
COL 21
UCLA 31
 
4th
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
Half
WAKE 0
BC 17
 
Half
BUF 7
CMICH 14
 
Half
MARS 14
FATL 16
 
2nd
PITT 14
GT 28
 
Half
SMISS 7
LATU 3
 
Half
MSU 14
MICH 3
 
2nd
KENT 10
MSST 17
 
Half
STAN 28
ORST 7
 
2nd
TCU 31
TTU 20
 
Half
OKST 10
WVU 14
 
2nd
WKENT 28
ODU 16
 
2nd
UTST 10
UNLV 7
 
2nd
MIZZ 3
VANDY 0
 
1st
UCF 0
TEMPL 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
2nd
SJS 0
BUF 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14