WILMINGTON, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's basketball team plays its first game on the road Sunday afternoon when the Bulldogs travel to UNC Wilmington for a date with the Seahawks starting at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WPEK (880-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 1:30 p.m.
Asheville made a successful debut for the 2012-13 season on Friday as the Bulldogs defeated mountain rival Western Carolina, 71-61 at Kimmel Arena.
This will be Asheville's first meeting with UNCW since the 2005-06 season when the Seahawks downed the Bulldogs, 68-50 at Trask Coliseum.
UNCW is coached by Asheville native and former Bulldog ball-boy Buzz Peterson. Peterson is rebuilding the Seahawk program as UNCW posted a 10-21 record last season. However, Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach knows his young team will have a tough challenge tomorrow afternoon.
"UNC Wilmington is going to be very well-coached by Buzz, and they'll play hard for 40 minutes," stated Biedenbach. "He's already got some talented players in the program and we'll have to be ready to go from the start on Sunday.
"I was really pleased with our win on Friday against Western Carolina," added Biedenbach. "Our guys played hard and our defense was really good. There's a lot to work on but overall it was a great effort by our guys, especially some of our younger player who we're going to have to call on a lot earlier this season."
All Bulldog fans were pleased with the play of senior forward Jeremy Atkinson. He scored a career-high 24 points and collected 11 rebounds against Western Carolina. Atkinson scored 18 of those points in the second half and was a perfect 8-of-8 form the free throw line.
Senior forward Keith Rendleman, a Preseason First-Team All-CAA selection, anchors UNC Wilmington. The bouncy Rendleman averaged 15.3 points and 10.0 rebounds last season and has 22 career double-doubles to his credit.
This will be the third team that Peterson has coached against UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs are 2-5 against Peterson-coached teams. Asheville went 0-1 against Buzz when he was the head coach at Tennessee (2003-04) and 2-4 when he was the head coach at Coastal Carolina. However, the Bulldogs did win their final two games against him in the 2006-07 season, including a 77-64 victory over the Chanticleers in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Big South Conference Tournament at Coastal Carolina. It was Peterson's last game as Chanticleer head coach.
- 1. UNC Asheville went 8-5 on the road last season and has posted 10 wins in its last 15 road games dating back to late in the 2010-11 season.
- 2. The Bulldogs are 32-11 in their last 43 games dating back to the end of the 2010-11 season.
- 3. Eddie Biedenbach, who owns a beach house in Wilmington, has a 241-242 record at Asheville. He is 0-3 vs. UNC Wilmington, all at Asheville.
- 4. UNC Wilmington has won the last 10 meetings between the teams and leads the series, 15-8. This will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the Seahawks since the 2005-06 season when UNCW downed Asheville, 68-50. That game was just the fourth meeting between the teams since the Bulldog program went Division I in the 1986-87 season. The first meeting between the teams came way back on Jan. 1, 1965 when the Wilmington College defeated Asheville-Biltmore College, 88-71 in Wilmington. Asheville-Biltmore was in its first year as a four-year collegiate institution.
- 5. UNCW is the first of two teams that the Bulldogs will play in the CAA this year. Asheville travels to Northeastern on Dec. 18.