ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville placed five players in double figures and had 12 different players score as the Bulldogs celebrated their home opener with a 92-56 victory over NAIA Bluefield College Thursday night at Kimmel Arena.
Asheville (2-7) was led by D.J. Cunningham’s 16 points as the senior center went 8-of-9 from the field. He also grabbed his 600th career rebound in the first half and has 603 for his career. Jaron Lane added 15 points, while Andrew Rowsey chipped in 14 points. Chudier Pal finished with 11 points. David Roberson contributed 10 points and a career-best six assists. Sam Hughes pulled down a career-best 11 rebounds.
Bluefield (5-2) was led by Josh Nesbit with 17 points. The game was an exhibition contest for the Rams.
“It was nice to play at home, and we played well tonight,” stated first-year Asheville coach Nick McDevitt. “We passed the ball well and got scoring from a lot of different players.
The Bulldogs led from start to finish and scored a season-high 92 points in the victory. Asheville scored the first six points to jump out to a 6-0 lead. The home team led 14-11 and had a 27-21 lead with 7:01 left in the first half.
Asheville dominated the rest of the half as the Bulldogs outscored the visitors 21-7 to race to a 48-28 halftime lead. The home team shot .581 (18-of-31) from the field and was 6-of-10 from the three-point line in the opening half. Lane scored 13 points in the first half, while Rowsey added 10 points.
The Bulldogs used their bench liberally in the second half and built the lead by as much as 40 before setting for the 36-point victory.
Asheville had a huge height advantage over Bluefield and used it to its advantage. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Rams 51-21 and outscored the visitors in the paint, 62-21.
Asheville also did a nice job passing the ball as it had a season-high 28 assists.
UNC Asheville plays next at USC Upstate Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on WPEK (880-AM) radio with the pre-game show starting at 2:30 p.m.
Jaron Lane has scored in double figures in five straight games. Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figures in eight of Asheville’s nine games this season.
The Bulldogs are 27-6 all-time at Kimmel Arena.
David Robertson’s six assists were the most by an Asheville player this season.
The Bulldogs shot a season-high .585 (38-of-85) from the field.
Chudier Pal’s 11 points was a career-high.
Asheville had five players in double figures for the second time this season.
The Bulldogs’ 28 assists was the most by an Asheville team since producing a school-record 38 assists against Mars Hill on Nov. 16, 2011.