CONWAY, S.C. – The UNC Asheville Bulldogs begin a two-game road trip to the South Carolina coast when they travel to Coastal Carolina Wednesday night for a Big South battle at HTC Center starting at 7 p.m.
Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on WWNC Radio (570-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. Fans can also watch the game for free on the Big South Digital Network under the multimedia tag at uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (8-8, 2-0 BSC) has won seven of its last eight games but faces a tough task this week. The Bulldogs have lost their last two games at Coastal Carolina (8-8, 1-1 BSC) and have never won at HTC Center. Asheville lost 65-64 to the Chants last season in its first ever appearance at Coastal Carolina’s new arena and were then blitzed by Longwood, 87-72 in the first round of last year’s Big South Championship.
Both teams are coming off solid wins on Saturday. The Bulldogs downed Presbyterian College at home, 74-60, while CCU won at Gardner-Webb, 81-69.
Asheville heads to Big South Conference favorite Charleston Southern on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.
“We’ve got two tough games coming up,” stated first-year coach Nick McDevitt. “Coastal Carolina has another good team this year and is well-coached by Cliff Ellis. We had a nice win at Gardner-Webb and then they went in there after we did and won handily. Our guys know we’ll have to be ready to play hard for 40 minutes to have a chance at winning.”
Freshman guard Andrew Rowsey continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring with a 16.3 average. His scoring average is the ninth best in the country for freshman. Senior forward Jaron Lane is second on the club in scoring with a 13.4 mark. Lane scored a career-high 26 points at Gardner-Webb last week. Senior center D.J. Cunningham follows with a 10.6 average. He leads the Big South in both rebounding (9.7) and blocked shots (47).
Wednesday’s game will be the 65th time that Asheville and Coastal Carolina have squared off on the hardwood. The teams met in the first ever Big South Conference game at Justice Center in November of 1984 with the Bulldogs edging the Chants, 59-57. CCU holds a 33-31 advantage in the series and is 22-12 vs. the Dogs in Conway. Coastal has won five of its last seven meetings against the Bulldogs at CCU.
Coastal Carolina is led by talented freshman guard Elijah Wilson. The rookie guard has a 15.4 scoring average, followed by Josh Cameron with a 12.9 mark. CCU leads the Big South in field goal percentage defense with a .405 average.
Senior forward Jaron Lane enters the CCU game with 984 career points. He needs just 16 points to become the 29th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
The team split close home wins last year. Asheville edged the Chants 63-60 at Kimmel Arena with CCU winning in Conway, 65-64 on a Kierre Greenwood jumper with 5.9 seconds left.
Asheville is 7-1 when it out-rebounds its opponents. Coastal Carolina leads the Big South in rebounding margin with a 5.4 mark.
Freshman guard Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figure in 15 of Asheville’s 16 games this year.
The Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight games.
Asheville is 70-34 over the last six seasons in Big South Conference regular-season play.
The Bulldogs are 21-8 in their last 29 road games against Big South Conference teams on the road both in regular-season play and the tournament.
Asheville leads the Big South Conference in free throw percentage at .742.
The Bulldogs are second in the Big South in field goal percentage defense at .411 and lead the league in three-point field goal percentage defense at .300.
Asheville has blocked 54 shots in the last six games.
The Bulldogs are shooting (.508) from the field and (.860) in two league games.