Three Appalachian State wrestlers earned automatic berths into the NCAA Championships as first-time Southern Conference champions, and the Mountaineers finished second in the team standings during a back-and-forth event at the Holmes Convocation Center on Sunday.
App State senior Randall Diabe won a 5-4 decision in the final at 197 pounds, junior Cary Miller claimed an 8-1 decision in the heavyweight final and sophomore Codi Russell posted a 9-4 decision against top-seeded Noah Gonser of Campbell in the final at 133 pounds. Their victories helped the Mountaineers amass 92.5 points, or 2.5 fewer than that total accumulated by first-place Campbell.
Appalachian State, Campbell and Chattanooga shared the regular season title.
The Mountaineers had six finalists in the 10 weight classes, as senior Irvin Enriquez (141 pounds) reached a final for the third straight year, senior Michael Elliott advanced to the final at 165 pounds and sophomore Alan Clothier reached the final at 184 pounds. Matt Zovistoski (149 pounds) and De’Andre Swinson-Barr (125 pounds) were third-place finishers.
With Diabe making the field for the second straight year and App State’s two other SoCon champs qualifying for the first time, Appalachian will have at least three wrestlers at the NCAA Championships that begin in Pittsburgh on March 21. There are also at-large possibilities for wrestlers such as Zovistoski, who is ranked 28th in his weight class by the NCAA Coaches’ Panel.
Russell will be joining his older brother, Sean, a Minnesota senior who wrestles at 125 pounds, in Pittsburgh thanks to Sean’s third-place finish in the Big Ten tournament.
Russell, ranked 31st, had beaten the 17th-ranked Gonser at the Hokie Open but lost to him in a dual matchup in mid-January. Sunday, Russell tied the match at 3-all on a takedown with 47 seconds left in the second period and moved ahead on a takedown eight seconds into the third period. After an escape by Gonser, Russell seized control on a takedown with 1:12 left and a two-point near fall with 1:02 remaining.
In a matchup of two top-25 wrestlers, the 18th-ranked Diabe edged 23rd-ranked Sawyer Root of The Citadel after winning a 9-0 major decision against Chattanooga’s Rod Jones. A first-period takedown of Root helped Diabe lead 3-1 entering the third period, but an escape by Root with 1:48 left and hands-to-the-face penalty on Diabe with 1:40 remaining tied the match.
Diabe executed a tiebreaking takedown with 1:21 left and held on after Root managed an escape with 1:01 remaining.
In the last championship matchup of the night, Miller led 3-0 after one period against Campbell’s Odgerel Batkhishig and took a 5-0 lead into the final period. In his six SoCon duals and two SoCon Championship bouts, Miller went 8-0 with three pins, one technical fall and two major decisions.
A year after winning the SoCon title as a No. 4 seed, the third-seeded Enriquez reached the 141 final with a 7-4 semifinal decision against Campbell’s Nathan Boston, who had pinned Enriquez in their regular season meeting. Top-seeded Chris Debien won 12-7 in Sunday’s final.
Elliott reached his final with a 16-0 technical fall in the first round and a semifinal pin of Davidson’s Hunter Costa. Top-seeded Tyler Marinelli of Gardner-Webb had an 8-0 major decision in the final.
Clothier won his semifinal match by a technical fall before suffering a 4-3 defeat against Campbell’s Chris Kober in the next-to-last final.
Zovistoski endured a 3-2 semifinal loss but went 3-1 in the tournament, and a 1-1 showing allowed Swinson-Barr to take third. Thomas Flitz went 2-2 at 174 pounds, and Angel Najar won his first match at 157 pounds.
1. Campbell, 95.0
2. App State, 92.5
3. Chattanooga, 62.0
4. The Citadel, 42.5
5. Gardner-Webb, 23.5
6. Davidson, 22.5
7. VMI, 17.0
App State Results
125: (3) De’Andre Swinson-Barr (Third place)
L, 9-3 dec. vs. Korbin Meink, Campbell
W, 6-4 dec. vs. Derek Shockey, VMI
133: (2) Codi Russell (First place)
W, 19-4 tech. fall vs. Cliff Conway, VMI
W, 10-1 maj. dec. vs. Kyle Gorant, Davidson
W, 9-4 dec. vs. Noah Gonser, Campbell
141: (3) Irvin Enriquez (Second place)
W, fall in 1:41 vs. Caleb Ziebell, Davidson
W, 7-4 dec. vs. Nathan Boston, Campbell
L, 12-7 dec. vs. Chris Debien, Chattanooga
149: (2) Matt Zovistoski (Third place)
W, 12-1 maj. dec. vs. Zach Schmitt, VMI
L, 3-2 dec. vs. Tanner Smith, Chattanooga
W, 14-4 maj. dec. vs. Will Baldwin, Davidson
W, 10-0 maj. dec. vs. Selwyn Porter, The Citadel
157: (4) Angel Najar
W, 6-0 dec. vs. Evan Schenk, Gardner-Webb
L, 8-2 dec. vs. Benjamin Barton, Campbell
L, fall in 5:23 vs. Ryan Resnick, Chattanooga
165: (2) Michael Elliott (Second place)
W, 16-0 tech. fall vs. Luke Niksic, VMI
W, fall in 4:37 vs. Hunter Costa, Davidson
L, 8-0 maj. dec. vs. Tyler Marinelli, Gardner-Webb
174: (3) Thomas Flitz
W, 16-4 maj. dec. vs. Noah Satterfield, Davidson
L, 8-3 dec. vs. Andrew Morgan, Campbell
W, 3-1 dec. vs. Hunter Fortner, Chattanooga
L, 6-4 dec. (SV-1) vs. Kyle Homet, Gardner-Webb
184: (1) Alan Clothier (Second place)
W, 19-2 tech. fall vs. Conor Fenn, Davidson
L, 4-3 dec. vs. Chris Kober, Campbell
197: (1) Randall Diabe (First place)
W, 9-0 maj. dec. vs. Rod Jones, Chattanooga
W, 5-4 dec. vs. Sawyer Root, The Citadel
285: (1) Cary Miller (First place)
W, fall in 1:45 vs. Michael McAleavey, The Citadel
W, 8-1 dec. vs. Odgerel Batkhishig, Campbell
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball took on Catawba for the 207th time but it was the first time the two programs met in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship and the Indians came away with a 71-67 victory. However, the Bears appear to have clinched a spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament with yesterday's win over Queens.
It was the Bears first appearance in the SAC Tournament title game since 2005 and they were searching for the first championship since 2003 but came just short. The back-and-forth contest never got bigger than an eight point lead either way.
Cory Thomas was outstanding once again for the Bears, finishing with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Thomas was named to the All-Tournament team after scoring 63 points in the three tournament games.
Bertrand Awana continued his outstanding stretch which saw him go perfect from the field for the fourth straight game. Awana went 7-for-7 and has now converted on each of his last 23 field goal attempts. Awana, who also made the All-Tournament team, added a career-high six blocks and six rebounds.
The difference in the game came on the offensive boards as Catawba grabbed 18 and had 17 second chance points. The Bears shot 51 percent from the field but Catawba took 16 more field goal attempts thanks to the offensive rebounding advantage.
Daquan Lilly and Jordan McElveen each scored 13 points for the Indians. Devin Cooper was named the Tournament MVP and finished with 12 points.
Jon Jean was the third Bear in double figures, finishing with 12 points.
This marks Catawba's first SAC Tournament title since 2009.
LR's bench was held to a season-low two points and zero field goals.
The 21 wins matches the highest total in the past 11 years.
LR is now 11-6 away from Shuford Gym this season and 6-4 against regionally ranked opponents.
The Bears are the number six seed and will face S.C.-Aiken in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Division 2 playoffs.
A one-hit shutout in which Appalachian State freshman Luke Drumheller tied an NCAA single-game record with five doubles started a doubleheader sweep of Furman and Michigan State on Sunday.
Playing in the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field, the Mountaineers won 14-0 against the Paladins on Sunday morning and 9-6 against the Spartans on Sunday afternoon. App State (6-8) led 7-6 before Riley Smith hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of the finale, and Kaleb Bowman pitched four innings of scoreless relief to set up a save opportunity for Andrew Papp.
Tyler Tuthill allowed one hit in five innings against Furman before four relievers allowed no hits over the last four innings, and Drumheller's 5-for-6 effort with four RBIs and three runs scored against the Paladins allowed him to become the seventh Division I player with five doubles in a game.
Drumheller's school and Sun Belt Conference record was last accomplished at the Division I level by Western Carolina's Aaron Attaway in 2012. The other players on the list are Baylor's Jeremy Dodson (1998), Iona's Dean DeGaetano (1992), Villanova's Mike Wismer (1989), Louisville's Bill Gray (1986) and Maine's Tom Vanidestine (1981).
Furman's only hit was a two-out, first-inning single off Tuthill, who then retired 10 straight batters and took the mound in the fifth inning with a 6-0 lead thanks to App State's six-run bottom of the fourth. Tuthill finished with six strikeouts, and the quartet of Austin Primm, Evan Mauldin, Bobby Hampton and Will Herman combined for eight strikeouts to increase the pitching staff's total to 14 in the win. Primm and Herman both had three-strikeout innings.
After being retired in the first inning, Drumheller extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a third-inning double and pushed App State ahead 5-0 with a three-run double in the fourth. He also doubled in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings.
App State's six-run fourth included Tyler Leek's RBI double, Luke Allison's run-scoring bunt, Drumheller's three-run double and Bailey Welch's RBI single. The lead grew to 8-0 an inning later on Drumheller's RBI double and Kendall McGowan's RBI single. A five-run sixth featured a bases-loaded walk to Hayden Cross, Allison's sacrifice fly, Alex Leshock's sacrifice fly and McGowan's two-run single.
In addition to Drumheller's five-hit effort, Welch went 3-for-4 and McGowan was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Cross scored three times.
App State fell behind 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning against Michigan State but took the lead for good with a five-run second that included an RBI double from Leek, a two-run single from Allison, a throwing error that allowed Allison to score from third on Leshock's steal of second and Drumheller's RBI single.
In extending his hitting streak to 12 games, Drumheller went 2-for-5 to give him a 7-for-11 doubleheader, and Allison finished the Sunday finale with four RBIs in a 2-for-5 effort. Smith and Williams also recorded two hits apiece.
Leading 5-4 going into the fifth inning, Allison delivered a two-run single. Bowman replaced App State starter Cameron Kepley following a two-run homer for Michigan State in the bottom of the fifth and picked up the win by finishing with four strikeouts and two hits allowed in his four innings of relief.
Papp earned his second save of the season with a hitless ninth that included a double play following a wild pitch on a strikeout.
The Mountaineers return to action Tuesday at Wake Forest.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team took on the Queens University Royals on Sunday afternoon and got two wins in the process, 4-1 and 9-5.
LR managed to get six base hits, one from six different players. Will Jones led the team in runs batted in with two, despite going 0-for-2 in the game. Second baseman Hunter Jackson drove in one as well.
Queens had four players combine for their eight hits, being led by Chase Hager who went 3-for-5 and Dominic Ford who finished 2-for-5 with a run and one RBI.
The Bears gave Alex Shirazi the ball on the mound to start the game. The Charlotte, N.C. native worked 7.0 nearly flawless innings as he scattered seven hits and only gave up one run. Griffin Templeton and Hunter Martin each worked the final two innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball.
Zach Kelly was hit around by the LR lineup as he took the loss, working 6.0 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks given up. Lee Harrison and Wes Boling held the Bears to one hit in the final three innings.
Game two starter for LR was senior Paul Hall. The Norfolk, Va. native worked the first 5.0 innings of the game, getting the quality start as he allowed three runs on three hits and striking out 11 in the 22 batters he faced.
Lenoir-Rhyne had three players combine for six of the team's nine hits: Matthew Freeman, Alex Reynolds, and Austin Reed.
Only one batter for Queens managed multiple base hits, the catcher Anthony Orta. He finished 2-for-3 with a double. Nick Melton went 1-for-3 with a team-leading two RBIs.
Jack Bergren fell to 2-2 on the season as he took the loss working 5.0 innings, giving up seven earned runs on six hits and three walks.
After the second win, the Bears secured their first weekend series victory of the season.
Hall's 11 strikeouts is a season-high and a best for any LR pitcher on the year while improving his record to 3-3. He averages fewer than four hits given up per start.
Jackson made his second and third-straight start at second base for the Bears.
LR is 9-12 overall and 3-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will wrap up the weekend series against Queens with one game in Kannapolis, N.C. on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Lacrosse Team completed their first road game of their spring break road trip in the sunshine state on Sunday, falling to Saint Leo, 18-4.
Lenoir-Rhyne had four players record one goal each: Anna Bissell, Cathleen Gaffney, Michelle Tang and Alyssa Sack. Sabrina Sanacore went off for five goals while Lexie Walstad added four, then Janee DeLuca added a hat trick for the Lions in the game.
The Lions outpaced the Bears in shots (34-16), shots on goal (28-11), turnovers (13-22), ground balls (29-24), draw controls (13-11) and free-position shots (12-4).
The road team managed 10 saves while the hosting Saint Leo Lions only recorded seven. Cristi Rowland got the start, but took the loss as she gave up 12 goals and added three saves. Former South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Week and freshman Teanna Sieben played the second half and racked up seven saves while giving up just six goals.
Bissell recorded her first goal of the season.
This marks the third Sunshine State Conference foe the Bears have faced this season and are winless against them. They have one team remaining in the form of Embry-Riddle.
Lenoir-Rhyne is 3-3 on the season. The Bears will continue their road trip as they take on Embry-Riddle on Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team took the field on the first sunny day in Hickory in a week against the Francis Marion University Patriots on Sunday, splitting the pair of games. The Bears won game one, 4-1, and took the loss, 8-4, in game two.
LR took the early lead in the first on a homerun from Talon LaClair and put up a 3-spot in the third and that was all the Bears needed as they held FMU to one run in the third inning on just five hits throughout the game. LaClair led the Bears at the plate, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored.
LR had two others with multiple base hits, Kylee Leonhardt (2-for-3 with one RBI) and Macie Gibson (2-for-3 with one run scored). To account for all runs driven in, Erin Boone added an RBI for the home team despite not recording a base hit.
The Patriots had five different players record one base hit each. Shortstop Angela Buccilli scored their only run of the game.
After winning South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Week two weeks ago, Brandi Parks earned the victory on the mound as she worked a complete game to move to 8-4 on the season. The senior gave up just one unearned run on five hits and struck out five Patriots batters in the process.
Game two started with the bats favoring the Patriots, as they scored one run in each of the first three innings, followed by a four-spot in the fourth inning. The Bears responded by scoring three in the fifth, but the door was shut as the road team added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led at the plate by Savannah Moorefield and LaClair, who combined for five hits, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
Five players for FMU earned two hits each while the catcher Chelsea Welty and left fielder Danielle Karacson led the way with a combined four hits, five RBIs and a run scored. Hemingway was also effective with the bat, as she helped her own cause with two hits and an RBI.
Kimberly Blair took the loss in the circle for Lenoir-Rhyne, her second of the season. She got the start but only worked 2.1 innings, giving up two earned runs and a walk. Hannah Jennings made an appearance and Parks came back in to work the final 4.0 innings for the home team. Janecia Hemingway earned the win for FMU, working a complete game while giving up four runs, seven walks and three strikeouts.
After a 1-1 day in the record book, Coach Shena Hollar remains one game short of the 800-win goal in her time at Lenoir-Rhyne.
The Bears have now split their third double header of the season.
FMU managed two-straight games of errorless baseball, while the Bears had at least one in each contest.
Parks combined to pitch 11.0 innings, giving up nine hits, three earned runs while striking out six and walking just four.
LR continues its home stand with a doubleheader against King on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
After a 59-50 win over South Alabama in the regular season finale yesterday, Appalachian State University women's basketball earned the fifth seed in the 2019 Sun Belt Tournament held in New Orleans at Lakefront Arena.
The Mountaineers will face the winner of No. 8 seed Arkansas State and No. 9 seed Coastal Carolina on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET in the second round. The winner of that game will face fourth-seeded Georgia State in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Appalachian went a combined 2-1 against the Chanticleers and Red Wolves. App split the season series against Coastal Carolina with each team winning on its home floor, while the Apps defeated the Red Wolves in Boone, 75-67, in the only matchup. Over the last two years, the Mountaineers faced CCU and A-State in the postseason, defeating both teams in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament. Appalachian upended the Red Wolves, 79-68, last season.
App State has won four of its previous five games going into the postseason, leading to a 16-13 regular season mark and a 10-8 Sun Belt record. The 16 wins are the most in the Angel Elderkin era, while the guaranteed winning season is a first for the program since the 2012-13 season. The 10 wins in conference play and the fifth-place finish is the highest since joining the league in 2014-15. The Mountaineers improved their win total by nine games in the regular season and doubled their Sun Belt win total from 2017-18.
Appalachian was picked to finish ninth in the Sun Belt by the coaches at the beginning of the season, but thanks to the returning experience, the return of Madi Story and addition of Ashley Polacek, the Apps tied for the highest-win improvement in the league.
The Mountaineers also posted an 11-3 mark at home, which is the best mark in the Holmes Center since the 2011-12 season.
2019 Sun Belt Women's Basketball Championship Schedule
Monday, March 11 (First Round/Campus Sites)
G1: No. 9 Arkansas State at No. 8 Coastal Carolina, 6:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
G2: No. 10 Louisiana at No. 7 South Alabama, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Wednesday, March 13 (Second Round)
G3: No. 5 Appalachian State vs. Winner G1, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
G4: No. 6 Texas State vs. Winner G2, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Thursday, March 14 (Semifinals)
G5: No. 4 Georgia State vs. Winner G3, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
G6: No. 3 Troy vs. Winner G4, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Friday, March 15 (Semifinals)
G7: No. 1 Little Rock vs. Winner G5, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
G8: No. 2 UTA vs. Winner G6, 2:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Saturday, March 16 (Championship Game)
G9: Winner G7 vs. Winner G8, 11:00 a.m. (ESPN3)
All times are Central time and subject to change.
2019 Tournament Seeds and Sun Belt Records
1. Little Rock (15-3) *
2. UTA (15-3)
3. Troy (13-5)
4. Georgia State (11-7)
5. Appalachian State (10-8)
6. Texas State (9-9) **
7. South Alabama (9-9)
8. Coastal Carolina (8-10)
9. Arkansas State (7-11)
10. Louisiana (5-13)
* Little Rock and UTA finished with identical 15-3 league records. Little Rock defeated UTA in both games this season; therefore, Little Rock earned the No. 1 seed.
** South Alabama and Texas State finished with identical 9-9 league records. Texas State defeated South Alabama in the teams' only matchup this season; therefore, Texas State earned the No. 6 seed.
Leading by two entering the bottom of the seventh inning at Furman, Appalachian State Baseball allowed an unearned run to tie the game in a two-run seventh, and the Paladins scored an unearned run in the ninth to claim a 6-5 victory in walk-off fashion Saturday night.
App State (4-8) is in Greenville for the First Pitch Invitational, which will conclude Sunday at Fluor Field after inclement weather affected the first two days of the downtown event. The Mountaineers are scheduled to play Furman (3-8) at Fluor Field on Sunday at 9 a.m. and also face Michigan State (3-10) at the Greenville Drive’s home stadium at 1 p.m. to complete a Sunday doubleheader.
With the altered Saturday schedule leading App State to play a road game at Furman, starting pitcher Will Sprinkle recorded a career-high nine strikeouts and allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. Relief pitcher Andrew Papp struck out two batters and allowed no earned runs on two hits in 1.2 innings.
Appalachian State, which had followed a two-run homer from Furman’s Sterling Turmon in the first inning with Phillip Cole’s two-out, two-run double in the second, broke a 3-3 tie by loading the bases with one out in the sixth on consecutive singles by Luke Drumheller, Kendall McGowan and Dalton Williams. Riley Smith’s sacrifice fly and Robbie Young’s single produced a 5-3 advantage.
Furman used a two-out RBI double in the seventh to pull within 5-4 and end a strong night from Sprinkle, who had retired 12 of 13 batters and recorded seven strikeouts in a four-inning span counting the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
A two-out fielding error in the outfield allowed Furman to tie the game with Papp on the mound in the seventh, and Papp struck out the opening batter in the bottom of the ninth inning before back-to-back infield errors set up a game-winning RBI single from Dax Roper.
McGowan, Williams and Tyler Leek all went 2-for-4 for App State, as Williams tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning with an RBI groundout. Drumheller reached base three times while going 1-for-3 and extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Mountaineers left two runners on base during its two-run sixth, and Leek reached second with nobody out in the seventh thanks to an infield single and passed ball. Walks by Drumheller and McGowan put two runners on with nobody out in the eighth, and Young’s two-out walk loaded the bases, but Furman reliever Rob Hughes ended that threat with a strikeout.
Leek opened the ninth with a single to center and stole second, but the Mountaineers weren’t able to bring him home in.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Lacrosse Team entered play with a 24-game regular season South Atlantic Conference winning streak but saw it snapped at the hands of No. 18 Wingate University by a final score of 11-8 on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium. The Bears last SAC regular season loss came against Catawba on April 11, 2015.
After Wingate ran out to a 3-1 advantage, the Bears responded in a major way. LR went on a 6-0 scoring spurt to take a 7-3 advantage with 8:57 to play in the second quarter. Eric Dickinson scored four times in that stretch, including back-to-back goals just 51 seconds apart. In total, the Bears scored three times in a 1:08 span in the second quarter.
However, the Wingate defense tightened following Dickinson's goal and LR would only convert once more in the game's final 38 minutes. Ben Austin scored with 6:59 left in the third quarter to cut Wingate's lead to 9-8 but LR would be shut out for the final 21:59 of game action.
Wingate answered LR's 6-0 run with a 6-0 run of their own to grab a 9-7 advantage before the aforementioned Austin goal. The Bulldogs would tack on two more goals in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Bears were unlucky, hitting the pipe four times in the game including three from Dickinson.
Quinn Kuhn scored twice for the Bears and Weston Bimstefer caused three turnovers.
Wingate was paced by four goals and an assist from Alex Llerandi and three goals and two assists by Conor Gronbach. Alex Coredero made 16 saves for the visitors to earn his fifth win of the season.
Wingate won 14 of the 23 face offs, continuing a trend for the Bears who have won 36.5 percent of face offs on the season.
LR went a perfect 20-for-20 on clears which represents a season-high in percentage and total clears in a game.
Each team put 24 shots on goal in the contest with LR holding a slight 43-37 advantage in total shots.
The Bears went 2-for-3 with the man advantage and held Wingate to just 1-for-4 with the extra man.
Lenoir-Rhyne falls to 0-5 overall and 0-1 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears are back at home next Saturday when they host Tusculum at 2 p.m.
Appalachian State Men's Basketball to Face Louisiana-Monroe in First Round of Sun Belt Conference TournamentWritten by Jason Savage
Appalachian State men's basketball will take on ULM in the First Round of the Sun Belt Tournament on Tuesday evening in Monroe, La.
Tip is set for 8 p.m. EST on ESPN+ and across the Appalachian Sports Network from Learfield IMG College.
The Mountaineers (11-20, 6-12 SBC) will be seeded No. 10 in the tournament, while the Warhawks (16-14, 9-9 SBC) are seeded seventh.
App State and ULM split the season series with each team winning on its home court. The Black and Gold posted a 85-84 victory in Boone on Feb. 2 and ULM won in Monroe on Feb. 28 by an 81-75 score.
The winner of Tuesday's contest will advance to play sixth seed Coastal Carolina on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La.
The historic season continues for the Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team who beat No. 7 Queens for the second time this season to advance to the program's first South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship since 2005. The Bears haven't beat Queens twice in the same season since 2008 but accomplished that feat with a statement win in the SAC Semifinal by the final score of 83-68.
It was a great homecoming for Lenoir-Rhyne Head Coach Everick Sullivan and PG Jon Jean. Sullivan went to high school at nearby Hillcrest High School and Jean transferred to LR after spending three years at Furman.
LR could not be stopped, shooting a season-high 63.5 percent from the field. The Bears converted on 35-of-52 field goal attempts and led by as many as 23 points in the game.
On the defensive end, the Bears stifled Queens and held the league's top 3-point shooting team to just 3-of-22 from long range. Queens shot a frigid 37 percent from the field and were down by double digits for the majority of the second half.
For the third straight game, center Bertrand Awana was perfect from the field. Awana went 8-for-8 tonight for a season-high 16 points. Over his last three games, Awana is 16-for-16 from the field.
Cory Thomas finished with 20 points and has stepped his play up in the SAC Tournament. After going for 24 in the quarterfinal round, Thomas went 8-for-13 from the field and added three assists and two rebounds.
Jean had eight points and six assists to go with only one turnover as the PG flawlessly initiated offense all night.
Queens was led by SAC Player of the Year Shaun Willett who scored 20 points and grabbed five boards. Daniel Carr finished with a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bears added another signature victory to their NCAA Tournament resume. Lenoir-Rhyne entered the week ranked No. 7 in the Southeast Regional rankings and may have secured their bid with a win tonight.
Queens had been to back-to-back SAC Tournament Championship games and won it all last year.
The 21 wins matches the highest total in the past 11 years.
LR continues its strong play away from home and is now 11-5 outside of Shuford Gym this year. Each of LR's wins over Queens have come away from Hickory.
Add the title of 2019 All-American to a long list of accolades that has been given to junior sprinter P.J. Lotharp in the 2018-19 Indoor Track & Field season.
Lotharp earned First Team All-American status for the second season in-a-row after the Indian Trail, N.C. native finished sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.83, which is a one-spot improvement from his seventh place finish in 2018.
Lotharp also finished 10th in the 200-meters in Friday's prelims with a time of 21:58, which earns him a spot on the Second Team All-American list. This finish was a four-spot improvement, as he moved up from No. 14 last season to No. 10 this year.
He will join his Lenoir-Rhyne Track & Field teammates as the outdoor season will begin with the LR Southside Power & Fitness Invitational on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 in Hickory, N.C.
The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team split a Saturday afternoon doubleheader with conference rival Wake Tech at Ting Park, falling by one run in the opener before earning a run-rule victory in the nightcap.
The Red Hawks improve to 11-8 overall and 3-4 in Region X games this season, while the Eagles are now 11-4 overall and 1-1 in conference games.
Game one: Wake Tech 5, Catawba Valley 4 (nine innings)
An RBI double by left fielder Tommy Perrin in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Eagles a thrilling walk-off victory during the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday.
The Red Hawks and Eagles battled furiously throughout the opening contest of the day, trading the lead four times and tying three times.
Trent Jones gave CVCC a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, scoring R.J. Conner on an RBI fielder’s choice.
Wake Tech answered in the bottom of the second inning with its only hit off Red Hawks starting pitcher Blake Dockery — a two-out, two-RBI double by Andrew Vogler — to take its first lead of the contest, 2-1.
Catawba Valley seized the lead back by scoring one run each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Jackson Brown’s ground out in the top of the fifth inning scored Rod Munoz, and catcher Willie Gordon delivered a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning, giving CVCC a 3-2 advantage through six complete.
Once again, the Eagles would tie the game in the eighth inning, plating a run on an RBI single by Austin Bulman, who scored Tyler Vaughan to make it a 3-3 game.
The Red Hawks looked poised to claim the conference win after Conner scored from third base on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning to make it a 4-3 Catawba Valley advantage heading to the final half inning.
However, an RBI single from Kevin Catrine set the table for Perrin’s RBI double that rolled all the way to the base of the wall in right field to plate Catrine for the game winner.
Dockery allowed just one hit, two earned runs, three walks and struck out eight batters in his six-inning no decision appearance. Red Hawk reliever Greg Collins took the loss after allowing four hits, three earned runs, one was and striking out three batters in 2.1 innings.
Game two: Catawba Valley 10, Wake Tech 0 (five innings)
Behind starting pitcher Logan Bender’s one-hit performance on the mound and a 10-hit offensive production at the plate, the Red Hawks claimed a run-rule win in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Ting Stadium.
CVCC immediately attacked Wake Tech starting pitcher Jackson Keene in the opening stages of the second game of the twin bill, scoring two runs in the first inning on a two-RBI single by designated hitter Sabion Thomas to take a quick 2-0 lead.
The Red Hawks’ biggest inning offensively came in the second when they plated seven runs on five hits, including a bases-clearing triple by Brett Eurey, an RBI double by Jackson Brown and an RBI single from Tyler Campbell, making it a 9-0 game.
Settling in with a big lead, Bender struck out at least two batters in each of his five innings on the mound, recording all three outs by strikeout in the second and fifth innings.
Thomas added the game’s final run in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run that bounced back on to the playing surface after hitting the light pole in left field.
Bender finished Saturday’s doubleheader finale with a season-high 12 strikeouts and no walks during his five-inning complete game performance, earning his third win of the season.
The Red Hawks and Eagles finish their three-game set on Sunday with a single nine-inning game. First pitch is set for noon at Ting Park.