ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's basketball team hits the road on Friday night for a date with #15 N.C. State at the PNC Center starting at 7 p.m. Friday's game can be seen on ESPN3 and will be heard locally on WWNC Radio with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.
Both the Bulldogs (1-4) and Wolfpack (1-3) were in Puerto Rico last week for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament. And both don't have great memories of what happened there. Asheville went 0-3 in the tournament, including a frustrating 72-67 loss to Providence last Sunday in the seventh-place game. The Bulldogs trailed by 13 points early in the second half and made a great run to take the lead late in the contest. However, the Friars got some key buckets down the stretch and held on for the win.
N.C. State (3-1) breezed in its first two games to advance to the championship game last Sunday but was upset by Oklahoma State, 76-56.
The Bulldogs are looking for their first ever win over the Wolfpack as N.C. State has won the previous 17 meetings between the schools. The Wolf pack downed the Dogs, 84-75 last season in the first game of the year.
"N.C. State has a very good team, and I'm sure they're not pleased at how they played against Oklahoma State," stated Bulldog coach and N.C. State alumnus Eddie Biedenbach. "We're not pleased at how we played in Puerto Rico either. We're a young team and still developing, but we need to find ways to win games when we have a chance to win them.
"Obviously we're going to have our hands full with a talented team like N.C. State on Friday," added Biedenbach. "We're going to have to play better in all areas of the game to have any kind of chance. We learned a lot in Puerto Rico against some really good teams. Hopefully we will put that knowledge to good use against N.C. State."
Senior forward Jeremy Atkinson leads Asheville in scoring with a 17.0 average. He also tops the club in rebounding with an 8.4 mark and is shooting .867 (26-of-30) from the free throw line. Junior guard Trent Meyer is averaging 10 points per game after a career-high 20 points against Providence on Sunday.
Jeremy Atkinson has posted two double-doubles on the season (points-rebounds). He scored a career-high with 24 points and collected 12 rebounds against Western Carolina on Nov. 9. Atkinson scored 16 points and pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds vs. Providence on Sunday. He has scored in double figures in each game this year.
Asheville has used the same starting five for each of its five games this season. The guards have been Trent Meyer and Keith Hornsby. The forwards are Jeremy Atkinson and Jon Nwannunu. D.J. Cunningham has been the Bulldogs starting center.
Sophomore guard Keith Hornsby has gone 16-of-26 (.615) from the field in the last three games.
The Bulldogs have played just one home game so far this season. After tonight, Asheville plays its next three games at Kimmel Arena starting with USC Upstate on Thursday, Nov. 29. The Bulldogs next road game will be another challenge as they'll play at Ohio State on Dec. 15.
Asheville was 8-5 on the road last season. The Bulldogs are 10-6 in their last 16 road games dating back to late in the 2010-11 year.
The Bulldogs have shot more free throws against four of their first five opponents this season.
After committing 43 turnovers in the first two games of the year, Asheville has just 37 turnovers in the last three contests.
The Bulldogs began the year 3-of-30 from beyond the arc but have improved to 9-of-22 from long distance in the past two games.