FARMVILLE, Va. – Sam Hughes two free throws with 18 seconds left gave UNC Asheville the lead for good as the Bulldogs rallied past Longwood 67-66 in a Big South Conference battle Saturday evening at Willett Hall.
Freshman guard Andrew Rowsey led the Bulldogs (11-11, 5-3 BSC) with 32 points. Jaron Lane added 12 points, while Hughes pumped in 10 points.
The Lancers were led by sophomore guard Tristan Carey who scored 33 points, 25 in the second half.
Asheville trailed 66-65 after Karl Ziegler scored on a lay-up with 1:16 left. The Bulldogs tried to take the lead but turned the ball over with 50 seconds left.
Longwood tried to run some time off the clock but David Robertson stole the ball for Asheville and fed Hughes who was fouled at the 18-second mark.
The sophomore forward calmly hit both free throws to give Asheville the lead at 67-66.
The home team played for the final shot and got the ball to Carey. His three-point attempt was offand Robertson claimed the rebound as time expired giving the Bulldogs the road win and end a two-game losing streak.
“I’m really proud of our guys for finding a way to win a tough game on the road,” stated first-year coach Nick McDevitt. “We didn’t play our best but late in the game when we had to make some defensive plays we were able to make some.
“David Robertson made a nice defensive play to jar the ball loose and get it to Sam Hughes,” McDevitt also said. “Sam then stepped up and hit two huge free throws in a tough situation.”
Rowsey enjoyed his second straight 30-point game. He was 10-of-19 from the field and 8-of-12 from the three-point line. His eight treys ties a school record held by three different Bulldog players. The three others players were Josh Kohn (1994), Omar Collington (2006) and Sean Smith (2009).
It was Rowsey’s second straight 30-point performance, and it’s the first time an Asheville player has scored 30 points in back-to-back games in the Division I era.
“Andrew was tremendous. What a show he and Tristan Carey put on today,” said McDevitt. “It was fun to watch both of them play.”
Asheville led 33-29 at halftime and built a 39-33 lead on a Jaron Lane lay-up at the 15:55 mark. But the Carey took over.
He scored 18 points over the next seven minutes, including four consecutive three-pointers. His dunk on a fast-break at the 8:30 mark pushed the Lancers in front 57-49.
And then it was Rowsey’s turn to step up. The freshman guard hit back-to-back three-pointers and had 12 points in a 16-4 run that put the Bulldogs on top 65-61 at the 3:10 mark.
Carey scored the next three points before Ziegler’s lay-up put Longwood in front 66-65.
D.J. Cunningham grabbed seven rebounds and had six blocked shots. Rowsey also grabbed seven rebounds.
UNC Asheville is back at home Wednesday night when the Bulldogs host North Division leader Campbell at Kimmel Arena starting at 7 p.m.
UNC Asheville is 21-10 in Big South Conference road games dating back to the 2010-11 season…D.J. Cunningham has 13 blocked shots in his last two games…Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figures in 17 straight games…Asheville had a season-high 11 steals for the third time this season…the Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 14 games.