ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's basketball team returns to Kimmel Arena on Saturday when the Bulldogs host Radford in Big South Conference action starting at 2 p.m.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on WWNC Radio (570-AM) starting at 2 p.m. The game can also be seen via video-streaming under the multimedia tag at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Fans coming to Saturday's game will have a chance to meet and get an autograph from Lauren Tamayo, who won the Silver Medal in last summer's Olympic Games in Team Pursuit, courtesy of Home Trust Bank. She'll be signing autographs in the concourse during the second half. In addition, Home Trust will be distributing rally towels for fans coming to the game.
The game with the Highlanders is also Signature Saturday as Bulldog players will be signing autographs following the contest.
Asheville (7-9, 1-1 BSC) looks to bounce back after a disappointing road loss at Gardner-Webb Wednesday night, 78-71. Freshman forward Will Weeks scored a career-high 27 points in the loss, but the Bulldogs trailed from start to finish.
"We can't play like we did against Gardner-Webb and expect to win," stated Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "The last two games have seen us start out slow, and we've got to reverse that right away."
The Highlanders (7-9, 1-1 BSC) are much improved from last year's 6-26 campaign. RU is coming off a 59-54 win over High Point Wednesday. Asheville won both meetings last season as the Bulldogs edged Radford, 66-56 at the Dedmon Center and then defeated the Highlanders, 88-62 at Kimmel Arena.
"Radford is greatly improved from last season. They have excellent guards who gave us fits last year," explained Biedenbach. "This is going to be a tough game on Saturday."
Jeremy Atkinson continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring (17.0) and rebounding (7.7). He's scored in double figures in 15 of Asheville's 16 games this season. Sophomore guard Keith Hornsby has a 15.3 scoring average and has scored in double figures in eight straight contests, including a 27-point explosion at Liberty on Saturday. He's second nationally in free throw percentage at .957 (45-of-47) and has set a school record by making 29 consecutive free throws. Weeks has a 9.4 scoring average and is shooting .644 (56-of-87) from the field.
UNC Asheville leads the series 31-30 and has posted five straight wins. This marks the first time the Bulldogs have won five straight against the Highlanders since the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons. The Blue & White have won 11 of its last 12 games against Radford in Asheville.
Asheville is 19-3 all-time at Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs are 11-1 against BSC opponents at Kimmel and have won eight consecutive games vs. league teams.
The Bulldogs are 26-3 against Big South Conference opponents over the last three seasons.
Will Weeks set a school-record for field goal percentage on Wednesday at Gardner-Webb as he went 11-of-12 from the field (.916). He scored a career-high 27 points in the victory. Weeks became the fifth different Asheville player to score 20 points or more in a game this year. Will has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games.
The Bulldogs lead the Big South in blocked shots with 84 and have a 5.25 per game average. Asheville had just 88 blocks all of last season. Junior center D.J. Cunningham leads the league in blocks with 42 and a 2.8 per game mark.
Asheville would like to come out of the gates a little quicker than it has the past three games. The Bulldogs have averaged just 25.6 points per game in the opening half of those contests, including a season-low 24 points at Gardner-Webb on Wednesday night.
Since a 1-6 start, the Bulldogs have won six of their last nine games.
Asheville has captured two of the last three Big South Player of the Week awards. Keith Hornsby earned the honor on Dec. 17 before Jeremy Atkinson was named POW on Jan. 2.