BOSTON - UNC Asheville placed four players in double figures as the Bulldogs held off Northeastern to pull out a 79-73 victory over the Huskies at Matthews Arena Tuesday afternoon.
Asheville (4-7) picked up its first road win of the season and won for the third in the last four games. Jeremy Atkinson led the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Jon Nwannunu added a career-high 16 points. He was 8-of-11 from the field. Keith Hornsby finished with 15 points and hit four big free throws down the stretch. Will Weeks tied his career-high in points with 14. He was 6-of-6 from the field with three assists.
Atkinson was 8-of-16 from the field. He grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists.
The Bulldogs led 31-29 at halftime and then by 14 with 3:57 left before the Huskies closed to four late in the game. However, Asheville was able to hit enough clutch free throws and get stops when they had to have them to pick up the road win.
"I'm really proud of our guys to pick up a great road win over a good team like Northeastern," commented Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "We did a great job against their 3-2 zone which is something we don't see very often. Our guys worked hard on it for the past two days and got the job done.
"We got great performances from everyone who played," added Biedenbach. "Jon Nwannunu did a great job scoring and taking charges. I thought we did a lot of little things that help you win games. I'm not thrilled about the last three minutes where we let them back in the game, but I'm just as happy as can be with the win."
Asheville led 31-29 at halftime and then shot a season-how .630 (17-of-27) from the field in the second half.
The Huskies (4-6) were led by Joel Smith with 22 points, 17 in the second half. Jonathan Lee added 19 points. Lee, a preseason All-Conference selection, made his debut on Tuesday after missing the first nine games of the year with a foot injury.
The Bulldogs out-scored the Huskies, 46-32 in the paint and 21-8 on second-chance points.
Asheville center D.J. Cunningham had seven points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in the game.
The Bulldogs play again Friday night at Big East foe St. John's starting at 7:30 p.m.
UNC Asheville won its first afternoon game of the year as the Bulldogs were 0-5 in games that started in the afternoon going into the Northeastern game...Asheville is now 1-1 all-time in the state Massachusetts...Jeremy Atkinson's 21 points marked the fourth time he has scored more than 20 points in a game this season...D.J. Cunningham has blocked 12 shots in the last three games and has 26 for the season...D.J.has 113 blocks for his career...the Bulldogs have now gone eight straight games where they've had someone score 20 or more points...Keith Hornsby scored in double figures for the third straight game and grabbed at least five rebounds for the fifth consecutive game...Asheville had eight blocked shots in the game as a team and has 31 in the last four games...the Bulldog have blocked 58 shots on the year, compared to just 88 for the entire 2011-12 season.