LEXINGTON, Va. - The UNC Asheville Bulldogs head to VMI for a nationally televised game with the Keydets Friday evening at Cameron Hall starting at 7 p.m. Friday's game will be televised by ESPNU.
The game will also be broadcast locally on WWNC Radio (570-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.
Asheville (14-10, 8-2 BSC) brings a six-game winning streak into Friday's contest. The Bulldogs have moved into first place in the South Division, a half-game in front of Charleston Southern (7-2). Asheville picked up its sixth straight win with a 69-56 victory over Winthrop at home Wednesday night.
VMI (11-10, 6-3 BSC) is just a half-game out of first place in the North Division behind High Point (7-3). The Keydets won easily at Longwood on Wednesday, 93-60.
Wednesday's game is a rematch of last year's Big South title game held at Kimmel Arena when the top-seeded Bulldogs downed the seventh-seeded Keydets, 80-64.
VMI is led by Big South Preseason Player of the Year Stan Okoye. Okoye is the Conference's leading scorer and rebounder this season at 20.7 and 9.0, respectively. He ranks 10th all-time in Big South history in scoring and is fifth on the League's career rebounding chart. D.J. Covington enters the match-up as the Conference's top field goal shooter at .554 percent while the Keydets lead the Big South in scoring offense (78.3).
Asheville is led by senior forward Jeremy Atkinson. Atkinson has scored at least 20 points in Asheville's last three games. He is third in the Big South with 17.4 points while ranking seventh with 7.4 rebounds. Sophomore guard Keith Hornsby ranks eighth in the League with 14.8 points and is the Conference's leading free throw shooter at .940 percent (78-of-83). As a team, the Bulldogs are second in the Big South in field goal percentage at .456.
"VMI is always tough to beat and it looks like they're playing pretty well right now," commented Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "We did a nice job coming back and winning against Winthrop on Wednesday but we don't have much time to enjoy it as we get ready for VMI.
"We came out a little flat against Winthrop but luckily we were able to find a way to get around it. Our guys can't afford to do that Friday at VMI," added Biedenbach. "We're going to need to be at our best to have a chance at winning. This is a big game for both teams on Friday night."
UNC Asheville has an amazing record at Cameron Hall. The Bulldogs are 9-2 all-time at VMI and have won five straight games here, including an 89-86 decision here last season.
Jeremy Atkinson has scored in double figures in 23 of 24 games this year and 31 of his last 32 games dating back to last season.
Keith Hornsby is second nationally in free throw percentage at .940. He went 10-of-10 from the free throw line on Wednesday night against Winthrop.
The Bulldogs are 13-3 in their last 16 road games against Big South Conference opponents.
Asheville is 32-4 in its last 36 games against Big South Conference opponents.
After starting the year 1-6, the Bulldogs are 13-4.
Three of Asheville's wins in this six-game winning streak have come by just three points.
D.J. Cunningham leads the Big South and is 11th nationally in blocked shots with a 3.0 per game average. He blocked five shots in the second half against Winthrop.
Asheville is 14-1 when it out-rebounds its opponents.
After Friday's game, the Bulldogs will play four of their next five games at Kimmel Arena, including key league home games against Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern next week.