AIKEN, S.C. – Fueled by a game-winning jumper by Lorenza Ross with four seconds remaining, the second-seeded Railsplitters advanced past seventh-seeded UNC Pembroke 82-80 in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Saturday. With the win, Lincoln Memorial (25-5) advanced to the semifinals of the Southeast Regional, where they are set to square off against No. 3-seed Barton on Sunday.
The game saw 10 ties and nine lead changes in all, and was not decided until the final seconds, as Ross hit a runner from the left side of the floor with only four seconds remaining to clinch the victory for Lincoln Memorial.
The Railsplitters faced a 39-37 deficit at the half, but Lorenza Ross and Cam Carden sparked the second-half comeback by combining for 26 points in the final 20 minutes of play. Ross scored 16 points in the second half on 8-for-10 shooting, while Cam Carden added 10 in the frame with three 3-pointers and a free throw.
The final six minutes of the game were played within four points and the score was tied three times down the stretch. The final tie came at the 1:27 mark, as Brandon Winford drained one of his two free throw attempts for the Braves to knot the game at 80. After the Railsplitters and Braves traded missed 3-pointers, Ross broke the stalemate with a jumper with only four seconds remaining. UNC Pembroke found themselves with a game-tying attempt, however Shamel Brackett’s jumper fell short and LMU advanced with a 82-80 win against the Braves.
Brackett poured in 18 points in the second half for the Braves to keep the game close. Brackett was 6-for-12 from the floor in the second half with four 3-pointers.
The Braves largest lead was seven points with 4:48 left in the half following two made free throw by Brackett, while the largest lead of the first half for the Railsplitters was two points at 13:15 remaining.
George Blakeney led the Braves in the first half with 10 points and six rebounds. Jake Troyli led the way for the Railsplitters scoring 12 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field in the first half.
The Railsplitters were led to victory by the four-headed attack of Ross, Troyli, Carden and Vincent Bailey, as those four combined for 57 of the team’s 82 points. In addition to his 16 second-half points, Ross added four in the first half to tally a team-leading 20 points to go along with four rebounds and an assist in 36 minutes of action. Carden netted 13 points for the game behind three 3-pointers, while Troyli finished with 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the floor. Bailey notched 10 points and a team-high five rebounds, pacing the Railsplitters to a 27-23 margin of victory on the glass. Coming into Saturday’s match, UNC Pembroke ranked third in the country in rebounding margin, while the Railsplitters ranked ninth.
Brackett led the Braves with a game-high 27 points. Blakeney was the only other Brave in double-figures with 14 points. Blakeney secured a double-double by adding a game-high 10 boards and two blocks.
The game was played with only 20 total turnovers and both teams shooting more than 50 percent for the game. The Railsplitters turned the ball over 11 times and the Braves turned it over nine times.
Lincoln Memorial finished the game shooting 60 percent (33-for-55). They hit 45.5 percent (5-for-11) from behind the arc and 84.6 percent (11-for-13) from the line.
UNC Pembroke shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field and 50 percent (8-for-16) from three-point range. They shot 81.8 percent (18-for-22) on free throws.