DURHAM, N.C. – The UNC Asheville Bulldogs will play in the consolation of the East bracket in the Preseason NIT at Duke Tuesday night when they take on Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference favorite Norfolk state at 8:30 p.m. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on WWNC (570-AM) radio.
Asheville (1-3) fell to #4 Duke Monday night, 91-55. The Bulldogs were led by a career-high 16 points from Sam Hughes and 12 points from freshman guard David Robertson.
Norfolk State (2-2) lost a heartbreaking 76-74 decision to East Carolina following the Asheville-Duke contest. The Spartans led by 17 with less than eight minutes to before falling to the Pirates. Norfolk State believed it had tied the game on a tip-in to send the game to overtime but the tip-in was ruled after the buzzer had sounded.
“Norfolk State is a very good team that’s picked to win its league,” stated Bulldog coach Nick McDevitt. “They’ve been to post-season play the past two years and are very impressive. We’re going to have to learn from what we did against Duke and turn right around and play a well-coached and talented Norfolk State club.”
Asheville will once again play without starting forward Will Weeks. The sophomore forward was averaging 13 points and seven rebounds per game but has missed the past two games with a knee injury.
The Bulldogs will play in the third and fourth round of the Preseason NIT next Monday and Tuesday at a site and against opponents yet to be determined.
This is the first time Asheville has ever faced Norfolk State. The last time the Bulldogs played a team from the MEAC was South Carolina State in the 2007-08 season.
Asheville forced Duke into a season-high 16 turnovers and recorded a season-high 10 steals. Sam Hughes led the thievery with four steals.
The Bulldogs bench scored a season-high 22 points at Duke Monday night.
D.J. Cunningham has 591 career rebounds and 193 career blocked shot entering tonight’s game. He is tied for 10th all-time in career rebounds with Chad Mohn.
David Robertson has knocked down a three-pointer in three straight games.