ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville Bulldogs hope to start a new winning streak Saturday night when Asheville travels to Big South Conference foe Presbyterian College for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Saturday's game will be broadcast on WWNC Radio with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. An audio feed can be found at www.uncabulldogs.com.
The Bulldogs (13-7, 8-1 BSC) had their unbeaten record in Big South play come to an end on Thursday night when Charleston Southern held off Asheville, 93-88. The Bulldogs trailed by 14 points early in the second half and by 13 midway through half before rallying to tie the game at 84-84. But CSU hit some big free throws down the stretch, and Asheville came up empty on three straight possessions to lose just its second home game of the year.
"We didn't play good enough defense the whole night to beat a good team like Charleston Southern," stated Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "Our guys battled and made a great comeback but you can't get so far behind like we did and keep winning games."
Asheville needs to turn the page because a strong PC team awaits the Bulldogs in Clinton, S.C. The Blue Hose (8-10, 2-6 BSC) are a tough team to beat at home. They own a win over Big East foe Cincinnati on the season and have been very competitive this season. PC is led by talented senior forward Al'Lonzo Coleman. He was on the Big South's Preseason All-Conference team and is averaging 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Khalid Mutakabbir has a 14.1 scoring average.
The Bulldogs won both meetings with the Blue Hose last year. Asheville won 74-48 in Clinton and 88-55 at Justice Center. In the game in Clinton, Coleman went down with a knee injury midway through the first half.
"Presbyterian is a good team and is well-coached by Gregg Nibert," declared Biedenbach. "When we played them last season, Coleman only played a few minutes before he got hurt in the first game and didn't play the second time. He's a great player that we've always had a hard time matching up with.
"We're disappointed in our loss to Charleston Southern but there's no time to worry about that game," added Biedenbach. "We'll need to be at our best to beat Presbyterian Saturday night."
Asheville is 5-1 vs. PC since the Blue Hose joined the Big South Conference. The Bulldogs have won four straight in the series. However, Asheville's only loss came in the series came in the final regular-season game of the 2008-09 season when the Blue Hose buried the Bulldogs, 76-61. Asheville trailed by 33 points at one point in the first half.
The Bulldogs are 5-0 on the road in BSC play this year. Asheville is 11-3 over the past two seasons in BSC road games.
Saturday's game ends a grueling stretch for the Bulldogs as they've played five games in 10 days. Three of those games have been on the road. Asheville is home twice next week as it will host High Point (Jan. 26) and Campbell (Jan. 28).
The Bulldogs have been out-rebounded by 22 rebounds in the past two games.
Asheville is 19-of-39 (.488) from the three-point line in the last two games.
Senior guard J.P. Primm is averaging 24.5 points in the last two games. He tied a career-high with 26 points Thursday night vs. Charleston Southern.
Primm has 221 career steals and needs three to become the school's all-time leader, passing Andre Smith (223).