Bulldogs Hold on Against High Point 86-79

January 14, 2012
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Courtesy: UNC Asheville
HIGH POINT, N.C. - UNC Asheville remained perfect in Big South Conference play as the Bulldogs held on for a wild 86-79 road victory over High Point Saturday night.

Asheville (12-6, 7-0 BSC) led by 28 points with 11:07 left before the Panthers roared back and cut the lead to one with four minutes left.

However, Jaron Lane scored seven of his 11 points in the final three minutes to help the Bulldogs hold on for the win. It was just the second win for Asheville at the Millis Center in the last eight visits.

Jeremy Atkinson led the Bulldogs with 19 points and eight rebounds. J.P. Primm and Matt Dickey added 16 points each. Chris Stephenson and Quinard Jackson finished with 11 points each.

High Point (7-10, 3-4 BSC) was led by a season-high 33 points from Nick Barbour. He led the comeback with 19 points in the second half.

"This is a great win for us. We're happy to get another great road victory against a tough High Point opponent," stated Bulldog coach Eddie Biedenbach. "We knew High Point would make a run but we got it a little too close. However, I'm real proud of the way we executed down the stretch and made big plays when we had to have them."

The Bulldogs are perfect on the road in Big South Conference play at 5-0. They've won 11 of their last 14 BSC road games over the past two years.

Asheville led 49-31 at the half and continued to build on the lead as the Bulldogs pushed the margin to 65-37 when Jackson scored on a lay-up with 11:07 left.

But the Panthers went on an amazing 33-6 run over the next seven minutes to close to 71-70 with 3:35 left when Xavier Martin knocked down a long trey from the left corner. Asheville had six turnovers that led to 14 High Point points.

"We didn't take care of the basketball a few times and couldn't corral a defensive rebound that led to points for High Point," added Biedenbach.

However, Dickey knocked down two free throws to make it 73-70. Lane then scored on a three-point play on the next possession for a 76-70 margin.

Barbour came back with an NBA trey to cut the lead to 76-73 at 2:22. Stephenson scored on a lay-up and dunk from Atkinson got the lead back to 82-73. Lane and Dickey both made two free throws each to seal the victory as Barbour kept firing. He knocked down two more long three-pointers in the final minute.

Asheville shot .625 (30-of-48) from the field and .815 (22-of27) from the free throw line.

The Bulldogs put together an impressive first half and led the whole way. Asheville shot .680 (17-of-25) from the field in the half against the league's best defensive team.

Atkinson had 10 points early in the half to get the Bulldogs going. Primm then took over in the later stages of the half, scoring 14 straight points as Asheville built its lead to 40-29 when he sank a long trey.

But the senior guard picked up his second foul sending him to the bench. Matt Dickey was also on the bench with two fouls.

However, Asheville built the lead using its bench. The Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 9-2 in the final three minutes to build a 49-31 halftime lead. Jackson sank his seventh trey of the season when he took a pass from Trent Meyer as the buzzer sounded giving Asheville the 18-point halftime lead.

"We need more production from our bench and did they come through for us tonight at the end of the first half," commented Biedenbach. "That was such an important stretch for us to build on the lead when we had J.P. and Matt on the bench."

The Bulldogs play next on Tuesday in a rematch of last season's Big South Conference championship as UNC Asheville hosts Coastal Carolina at Kimmel Arena starting at 7 p.m. It will be a first-place showdown as the Chanticleers (13-4, 6-1 BSC) stayed a game behind the Bulldogs with an 81-63 win over Presbyterian College Saturday afternoon.

"I'd love to see Kimmel Arena sold out on Tuesday against Coastal Carolina," declared Biedenbach. "We've had great crowds all year but we really need everyone's support against Coastal Carolina."

Tickets are available at www.uncabulldogs.com or call 828-251-6904.


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