ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's basketball team plays its final home game before the holidays when the Bulldogs host Lenoir-Rhyne at Kimmel Arena Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Wednesday's game will be broadcast locally on WWNC Radio with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be video-streamed and can be seen under the multimedia tag at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (2-6) ended a frustrating six-game losing streak Saturday with an 85-51 victory over Montreat College at Kimmel Arena. Jeremy Atkinson had another solid game with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Trent Meyer added 18 points as he knocked down six treys in the contest. The Bulldogs' defense was sensational in the first half as they limited the Cavaliers to just 21 points and .250 (8-of-32) shooting from the field.
"We played good defense in the first half and did a nice job passing throughout the day," commented Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "I like the way we rebounded, but we didn't play as well on defense in the second half. We've got to learn to play for 40 minutes. We'll need to do that against Lenoir-Rhyne."
The Bulldogs should get a much sterner test from Lenoir-Rhyne on Wednesday. The Bears are 6-1 on the season and own some impressive Division II wins over Queens College and Fayetteville State. LRC is coached by veteran coach John Lentz.
"Any time we play Lenoir-Rhyne we know we're going face a well-coached team by John Lentz," stated Biedenbach. "Lenoir-Rhyne has a very good team this year with some impressive wins. We better be ready to play hard for 40 minutes to have any chance of winning."
Atkinson is having a nice season for the Blue & White. He's averaging a team-high 18.9 points per game and also tops the club in rebounding (7.9), steals (18) and free throw shooting (.875). His free throw percentage is second best in the Big South Conference.
Meyer continues to play well for the Bulldogs. He went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc on Saturday in the second half, and is Asheville's second leading scorer with a 12.4 average.
Sophomore guard Denzel Dillingham paces the LRC attack with a 17.7 scoring average. Former Pisgah standout R.J. McClure joins Dillingham in the backcourt and is averaging 12.1 points per game. Both players have knocked down 16 treys each. 6-7 center Matt Kunz is doing a nice job inside for the Bears with a 10.4 scoring and 8.0 rebounding average. This will be the first meeting between the schools since the 2006-07 season when the Bulldogs held off Lenoir-Rhyne, 69-59 at Justice Center. The Bears do own a win over the Dogs in the Division I era as LRC rallied for an 81-78 victory at Justice Center in the 2005-06 season.
The Bulldogs have a pretty tough road trip after Wednesday's game. They'll play at #7 Ohio State on Saturday, followed by road games at Northeastern (Dec. 18) and St. John's (Dec. 21). Asheville's next home game at Kimmel Arena takes place on Sunday, Dec. 30 vs. Bluefield at 2 p.m.
UNC Asheville is 17-3 all-time at Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs went 15-2 here last season en route to a Big South Conference championship.
Jeremy Atkinson has scored in double figures in every game this season.
Trent Meyer is averaging 17.2 points over the last four games. In the past two games, he's averaging 20.5 points per game and shooting .521 (12-of-23) from the field. From the three-point line, Meyer has gone 10-of-19 (.526) from beyond the arc in those two games.
The Bulldogs have shot at least 72 percent from the free throw line is six of the eight games they've played this season. Asheville enters Wednesday's game, shooting .737 from the line.
The Blue & White out-rebounded Montreat on Saturday, 54-27. Eight different players grabbed at least five rebounds in the game.
Asheville blocked eight Montreat shots on Saturday. That marks the third time this year the Bulldogs have blocked eight shots in a game. The Dogs have 35 blocks on the year after eight games.
After making 43 turnovers in the first two games of the season, Asheville has not had a 20-turnover game since those two contests. The Bulldogs are averaging just 12.5 turnovers in the last six games.