ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville Bulldogs will attempt to set history Thursday night when they host Big South Conference rival Charleston Southern at Kimmel Arena starting at 7 p.m. Thursday's game will be broadcast locally on WWNC Radio (570-AM) starting with the pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. A video-stream of the game can be seen at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (13-6, 8-0 BSC) has tied a school record for best start in Big South Conference play at 8-0 after downing defending BSC regular-season champion Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, 88-81 at Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs previous 8-0 start occurred during the 1997-98 season. A win by Asheville against the Buccaneers (11-7, 5-3 BSC) would give the Bulldogs their best start in league play in school history.
"We've got our work cut out for us against Charleston Southern," commented Bulldog coach Eddie Biedenbach. "I've been impressed with them all year from watching them on tape. They have a good team. We had a nice win against Coastal Carolina on Tuesday but our guys have got to be ready to battle hard for 40 minutes on Thursday night."
The Bulldogs enter Thursday's game with a seven-game winning streak and victories in 11 of their last 13 games. Asheville has won 11 straight BSC regular-season games and 14 overall counting last year's tournament. In addition, the Bulldogs have won seven consecutive games in their new home - Kimmel Arena.
Matt Dickey continues to lead Asheville in scoring with a 16.3 average. J.P. Primm, who led the Bulldogs with 23 points against CCU, is next with a 14.7 average. Chris Stephenson, who needs just three points to reach 1,000 career points, has a 14.5 average. Jaron Lane has an 11.5 mark, followed by Jeremy Atkinson's 11.3 mark.
CSU is led by senior forward Kelvin Martin with a 14.6 scoring average and 9.1 rebounding mark. The Bucs have a talented rookie backcourt in Saah Nimley (13.8 ppg) and Arlon Harper (11.7 ppg).
"Charleston Southern's young backcourt is extremely talented," explained Biedenbach.
The Bulldogs are in the middle of a busy stretch as they're in the midst of playing five games in nine days.
Chris Stephenson needs three points to reach 1,000 points for his career. Stephenson is looking to become the 28th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his career.
The Bulldogs last three wins have been by seven points each in each victory.
Asheville has shot at least .485 from the field in its last five games.
The Bulldogs lead the series with Charleston Southern, 36-32. The teams played three times last year with each team winning on its home-court before Asheville won a close 72-63 decision in the quarterfinals of the Big South Conference Tournament. That game was not decided until the final minute of play.
Matt Dickey moved into fifth place on Asheville's all-time career scoring list on Wednesday with his 19 points. He now has 1,539 points. Dickey needs just 11 points to become the program's all-time Division I scorer and fourth overall as Josh Pittman (1,549) is just ahead of him. He also needs just one rebound for 400 in his career. Dickey also needs two made free throws to reach 400 in his career, just the 10th player in Big South history to make 400 free throws.
Jeremy Atkinson enjoyed the first double-double of his career against Coastal Carolina as he scored 15 points and collected a career-high 10 rebounds. Atkinson is averaging 16.8 point per game in the last five contests and is shooting (.659) from the field in those games.
Senior guard J.P. Primm is 15-of-28 (.536) from beyond the arc in the past four games.