ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team will try and bounce back from a tough loss on Saturday when the Bulldogs host the nation’s top scoring team in VMI Tuesday night at 5 p.m.
Tuesday’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 on the Big South Digital Network for free under the multimedia tag at uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (10-10, 4-2 BSC) hopes to play better than it did on Saturday when it fell at league rival High Point, 78-67. The Bulldogs shot 52 percent from the field but committed 19 turnovers and let the Panthers built a 14-point halftime lead. Jaron Lane led Asheville with 20 points.
“We dug ourselves a pretty big hole on Saturday,” stated Bulldog coach Nick McDevitt. “Our guys did a good job battling back but you can’t have 19 turnovers and expect to beat a good team like High Point on the road.”
VMI (10-10, 3-3 BSC) lost a heartbreaker on Saturday when it was edged at Winthrop, 58-57. The Keydets lead the nation in scoring with an 87.9 average and have scored at least 100 points in five different contests this year.
Tuesday’s game will match two of the best freshmen in the league. Q.J. Peterson leads VMI in scoring with a 20.1 average, while Asheville rookie, Andrew Rowsey tops the Bulldogs at 17 points per game. Rowsey is from Lexington, Va.
McDevitt expects a strong effort from VMI Tuesday night.
“We’ve got our hands full with a very talented VMI club,” declared McDevitt. “They’re a very good team and can score in a hurry. We’re going to have to play a lot better than we did at High Point Saturday night to have any chance at winning.”
Jaron Lane has averaged 21 points in the last two games and is Asheville’s second leading scorer with a 13.6 average. Senior center D.J. Cunningham has missed the last two games due to the flu but could play on Tuesday. He has a 10.5 average and leads the Big South in rebounding (9.9) and blocked shots (50).
Senior guard Rodney Glasgow of VMI has knocked down 48 treys and is averaging 17.9 points per game. D.J. Covington has a 16.3 scoring average and is second in the Big South in blocks with a 2.7 per game average.
UNC Asheville is 6-1 at home this season and won nine of its last 12 games.
The Bulldogs are 19-3 at Kimmel Arena against BSC opponents.
Asheville leads the all-time series with the Keydets, 17-7 with VMI’s last appearance at Kimmel Arena came almost two years ago in the Big South Conference championship game. Asheville was able to break away from a determined Keydet club in the final 10 minutes to record an 80-64 victory and win its second straight BSC title. The “Land of the Sky” has been good to VMI over the years as the Keydets have won three of their last six games against the Bulldogs in Asheville. Throw in their two wins in the first two rounds of the BSC Championship in 2012; VMI is 5-3 in Asheville at both Justice Center and Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs won last year’s meet at Cameron Hall, 90-79.
The Bulldogs have 38 turnovers in the last two games.
Asheville leads the Big South in free throw percentage at .742.
Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figures in a Big South-leading 16 straight games.
Jaron Lane has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Asheville is in a three-way tie for first place in the South Division at 4-2 with Coastal Carolina and Winthrop.
Sam Hughes leads the Big South in free throw shooting in BSC games at .944 (17-for-18).