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2012 SoCon Basketball Championship Ticket Sales are Underway

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – City of Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy along with members of Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners will be the first in line to purchase tickets at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 11 for the 2012 SoCon Basketball Championships to be held March 2-5, 2012. The Championships are the first of three years that Asheville will host at the newly renovated Asheville Civic Center and the new Kimmel Arena at UNC Asheville.

Joining the elected officials on Friday will be leaders of the Asheville business community who are joining forces to support the Champions of Tomorrow program, designed to provide an opportunity for youth and teens at risk in our community to attend the weekend of basketball. Companies sponsoring the Champions of Tomorrow program are Asheville Savings Bank, BB&T, Dixon Hughes Goodman, First Citizens, Insurance Services of Asheville, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo. Combined these businesses are providing over 300 tickets to local non-profits including Big Brothers / Big Sister, Children First, and the YMCA of Western North Carolina.

In celebration of Friday’s festivities and the return of the Championships, tournament organizers will randomly choose five lucky individuals to win a pair of lifetime tickets while the Championships are in Asheville. To participate in this raffle interested individuals should visit the Asheville Civic Center Box Office between November 11 and 18 to purchase tickets or complete an entry form.

Tickets to the general public go on sale Friday, November 11 (11/11/11) exactly 111 days before the SoCon teams arrive in Asheville. Fans can purchase their tickets at the box offices at both the Asheville Civic Center and Kimmel Arena, or online at TicketMaster.com.

About the Southern Conference

The Southern Conference, in its 91st season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models. The conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), developing women’s championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the threepoint goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer. The Southern Conference is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association.

The conference currently consists of 12 members in five states throughout the southeast and sponsors 19 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.

About the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission

The Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission was formed in the fall of 2010 by a handful of civic-minded leaders who had a vision to impact the local economy by bringing more sporting events to the region. The Sports Commission is a community driven organization led by a diverse board of directors representing varied community interests. These leaders share a common goal of improving the health and quality of life of Asheville and Buncombe County residents while enhancing our community’s economic vitality with a thriving sports tourism market.

UNC Asheville’s John Williams Named MVP of Crossfire-ACC All-Star Game

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville senior forward John Williams gave fans at Asheville one more look at his outstanding ability. Williams scored 28 points to lead Crossfire to a 116-113 victory over the ACC All-Stars Saturday night at Reynolds HS.

After the game, Williams was named MVP of the contest. He had five dunks and even hit three 3-pointers in the victory. In addition, John easily won the Slam-Dunk contest held at halftime of the event.

Being named MVP of the game was pretty impressive. The ACC All-Stars were led by ACC Player of the Year Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler.

“It was a lot of fun playing in that kind of environment,” commented Williams on Monday. “The ACC All-Stars pressed us the whole game but we still managed to come out on top.”

Magic Ride for the UNC Asheville Bulldogs Comes to an End

Friday, March 18th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – After a streak of wins that ignited dreams of a victorious march through March Madness, the UNC Asheville men’s basketball team came back to earth in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to top seeded Pittsburgh, 74-51.

Players, coaches and staff received a hero’s welcome upon their return to campus. Chancellor Anne Ponder told the “welcome home” rally how proud she was of the Bulldogs for the way the team “left all it’s heart on the court,” for representing the university so well, and for creating so much excitement in Asheville and throughout Western North Carolina. “It is great in these tough times to have terrific news,” said Chancellor Ponder.

Coach Eddie Biedenbach said the team’s success “shows what can happen when players sacrifice, communicate and work together.” Biedenbach said he received e-mails and texts from other coaches across the country who noticed “what a great team we had, how hard we played.”

Junior guard J.P. Primm, described by Biedenbach as the team’s “inspirational leader,” called the team “a brotherhood,” and thanked his teammates for a feeling and an experience that “will stick with us forever.” Coaches and players alike also credited Bulldog fans on and off campus for making a difference. Senior center Eric Stubbs said the “support has been so overwhelming – thank you.”

Before the ride came to an end, the Bulldogs accomplished, earned and experienced many great things in this 2010-2011 season:

• National television exposure for John Williams’ incredible pre-season dunk

• ESPN “top play” status for Matt Dickey’s game-winning, buzzer-beating steal and 3-pointer

• An upset road victory in the Big South Conference Tournament championship game

• “All Conference” honors for Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm

• Keys to the City of Asheville, presented by Mayor Terry Bellamy

• A spot in the NCAA’s Big Dance for the first time in 8 years

• That “presidential” feeling, in the words of J.P. Primm, that came with the charter plane ride to the First Four

• Winning the first game of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in overtime after trailing for all but 51 seconds of regulation

• “First Hero of the Tournament” headlines for Matt Dickey

• Coverage on national television and newspapers from New York to Los Angeles

• An even more “presidential” charter plane ride to Washington D.C.

• Seven straight victories at the time of the year that counts the most, after a season full of ups and downs

• Uniting students, alumni, faculty and staff, and making Bulldog fans of thousands outside of the university community

• In defeat as well as victory, winning the admiration, respect and gratitude of all of UNC Asheville.

In his closing words,  Biedenbach said  “this is not an end but a beginning – we have a great nucleus coming back and with our recruits, we should have more fun next year.”  Matt Dickey said he is looking forward to seeing this year’s Big South Championship banner hanging in the new Kimmel arena when it opens next season, “and then getting another one.”

In the Kimmel Arena’s opening game, UNC Asheville will battle UNC Chapel Hill led by Coach Roy Williams.  The Bulldogs have put everyone one notice – the Tar Heels had better bring their “A” game.

Asheville Wins Overtime Thriller In NCAA First Four

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

DAYTON, OH – Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm each scored 22 points for UNC Asheville to lift UNC Asheville over Arkansas-Little Rock in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Tuesday evening in Dayton, Ohio, as the Bulldogs earned the 81-77 victory over the Trojans.

The Bulldogs trailed the entire second half until Dickey hit a 3-pointer with just over 10 seconds to go to tie the game and send it to overtime.

“We don’t have any quit in this team,” said Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenbach. “We’ve had some ups and down this season but Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm have kept us up all year long. Jaron Lane and D.J. Cunningham did some good things off the bench to give us a spark and then Matt hits the three to send us to overtime.”

The first half saw UALR jump out to an early lead connecting on 5-of-13 three-point attempts in the frame. The Trojans led by as much as 11 points with 12:42 in the frame before the Bulldogs tied the game at 31-31 on a John Williams dunk at the 1:55 mark.

The two teams traded the lead back and forth over the final two minutes before Alex Garcia-Mendoza hit a runner while being fouled and then converted a free throw to give UALR a 37-33 lead heading into the break.

In the second half the Trojans kept the Blue & White at arm’s length throughout most of the frame before the Bulldogs cut the lead to five at 61-56 with 7:57 to go. Matt Dickey cut the lead to two points after hitting a tough layup while being fouled and then converting his free throw attempt to pull to 70-68 with 4:11 remaining.

UNCA Hosts Bulldog Viewing Party

Monday, March 14th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – When UNC Asheville defeated Coastal Carolina to take the Big South Conference championship in men’s basketball, the Bulldogs became the first team in the nation to secure a place in the NCAA Tournament.  And Tuesday evening, the Bulldogs will play in the tournament’s first game, in what promises to be an exciting match-up with Arkansas-Little Rock.

Come join in a viewing party at the Grotto in Highsmith University Union, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Food, soda and TV coverage of the game will be provided. The Bulldogs may be in Dayton, but we can generate a home crowd feeling together in Highsmith.

Playoff Time for the UNC Asheville Bulldogs

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Bulldog men closed the regular season with three wins in a row, and now need three post-season victories in a row to gain a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs face Charleston Southern in the opening round of the Big South tournament, 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 1 at the Justice Center.  The two teams split their regular season match-ups. With a home victory, the Bulldogs can advance to the semifinal round Thursday evening at Kimbel Arena in Conway, S.C. Sophmore forward Jaron Lane, who was just named Big South Player of the Week

It will take victories Tuesday and Thursday to make it to the Big South championship game, set for Saturday at 4 p.m. at the home of the remaining highest seed. That game will be nationally televised on ESPN 2 and bring the winner a place in the NCAA Tournament.

Tickets for Tuesday night’s first round game at the Justice Center are available at the Bulldog Ticket Office, online at uncabulldogs.com, by e-mailing Harmon Turner at [email protected], or by calling 828/251-6904. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 general admission, and $20 for reserved seating.

UNC Asheville Bulldogs Down Belmont Abbey 94-70 in Exhibition Opener

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Matt Dickey scored 30 points and added five assists to lead UNC Asheville to a 94-70 exhibition win over visiting Belmont Abbey Monday night at Justice Center.

The Bulldogs also got 22 points from J.P. Primm and six assists. John Williams just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. He blocked four shots.

The Division II Crusaders were led by Kyle Phillips with 16 points, while Richard Barbee chipped in 15 points. Tyshawn Good contributed 12 points.

“We played pretty well for an exhibition game,” stated Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. “We were sloppy at times and let them get back in the game late in the first half and early in the second half. But when we had to bear down on both offense and defense, we did what we needed to do. There’s still plenty to work on before we open the season but you’re never going to complain about a victory.”

The Bulldogs went on a 14-0 run early in the game to race to a 19-8 lead. Asheville got points from seven different players during the run.

The home team built the lead to 44-26 on two free throws from Primm before a late run by Belmont Abbey cut the lead to 46-35 at halftime. Barbee had seven points to get the Crusaders within striking distance at halftime.

Belmont Abbey continued to cut into the lead after halftime and crept to 49-47 on a lay-up from Phillips with 17:49 left.

The Bulldogs quickly responded by scoring on their next seven possessions as they got the ball inside and scored to push the lead to 65-51 on a D.J. Cunningham lay-up.

Asheville continued to build on the lead the rest of the game as it led by as many as 26 points before settling for the 24-point win.

The Bulldogs shot 69% from the field in the second half (18-of-26) and 54 percent (33-of-61) for the game. Dickey was 11-of-17 from the field, 3-of-7 from beyond the arc and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Asheville out-rebounded the Crusaders, 48-36. The Bulldogs had 50 points in the paint, compared to 30 for Belmont Abbey.

UNC Asheville opens the 2010-11 season at Auburn Friday night starting at 8 p.m. CST.

UNC Asheville Bulldog’s John Williams to be Featured on ESPN

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – “Sports Nation,” ESPN 2’s popular sports news program, will show John Williams’ winning dunk from last Friday’s contest at Jammin’ at the Justice in which Williams jumped over a 7′ 2″ teammate. Williams’ aerial act will be part of the show today, with airtimes at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 12:30 a.m.

Williams successfully defended his dunking crown last Friday night. Now a senior forward, Williams led the Bulldogs in rebounds last year and hit an incredible 58 percent of his shots from the field. He is one of four returning starters on this year’s men’s team, which began practicing over the weekend. The Bulldogs have one exhibition game on November 8, before beginning the season at Auburn on November 12. For more information go to the UNC Asheville Bulldogs Web site.

UNC Asheville Men’s Basketball to Play in ESPN’s Bracket-Busters

Monday, October 4th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team will participate in the 2011 BracketBusters sponsored by ESPN on Feb. 19 with a home game.

The Bulldogs are one of nine teams from the Big South Conference participating in the event that will take place the weekend of Feb. 18-20.

Asheville’s appearance in the Bracketbusters will mark the second time the Bulldogs have played in the event. Eddie Biedenbach’s club played at Eastern Kentucky in 2006 and defeated the Colonels, 83-77.

Representing the Big South in the 2011 event will be last year’s four BracketBusters participants Winthrop, Radford, Presbyterian College and Gardner-Webb, plus High Point, Liberty, UNC Asheville, Charleston Southern and VMI — the latter two making their first appearance in the series. The Big South has the third-most Conference members participating of the 15 Leagues involved this season, and the nine Big South members are among the overall field of 114 teams scheduled to compete for one of the 11 BracketBusters nationally-televised games.

“We are excited to enhance our partnership with ESPN by expanding our participation in BracketBusters,” said Big South Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. “This event has proven to be beneficial to the Big South by increasing television exposure, providing quality competition and increasing home games. Plus, by including a majority of our programs, it is now likely that the Big South’s best teams will be participating in BracketBusters.”

The Bulldogs won’t find out their opponent for the BracketBusters until late January when ESPN announces the match-ups.

UNCA Men’s Basketball but Fall at Western Carolina 87-76

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Western Carolina placed four players in double figures and forced 27 UNC Asheville turnovers as the Catamounts defeated the Bulldogs 87-76 at the Ramsey Center Wednesday afternoon.

Asheville (3-8) was led by freshman guard Jaron Lane’s career-high 12 points. Freshman center D.J. Cunningham had 11 points and nine rebounds. J.P. Primm , Quinard Jackson and Sean Smith added 10 points each.

“We’re playing a little better but just made too many mistakes to beat a team as talented as Western Carolina,” stated Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. “We had opportunities to get closer but just didn’t make plays when we needed to make them. You have to give Western Carolina credit. I thought when they had to hit a shot or had to get a stop they did. There’s a reason Western Carolina is 11-2 and have wins over Louisville and Bradley.”

The Catamounts (11-2) were led by Jake Robinson’s 25 points. The senior forward went 7-of-10 from the field and 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. He scored 17 points in the first half and helped give WCU a 43-35 halftime lead. Brandon Giles chipped in 15 points, while Richie Gordon finished with 14 points. Brigham Waginger had 10 points and eight assists.

“We didn’t cover Jake Robinson a few times in the first half and every time we did he hit a three-pointer,” commented Biedenbach.

WCU took control of the game in the first half when it went on a 16-0 run to race to a 20-6 lead. Asheville helped the Catamount cause with seven turnovers in the first five minutes of the game. Robinson knocked down three long treys to spark the run.

The Bulldogs battled back. Asheville went on an 11-0 run as the Cats went ice cold from the field and cut the lead to 25-20. WCU led 43-35 at halftime. Asheville had 17 first-half turnovers that resulted in 20 Catamount points.

In the second half, the Catamounts quickly went on an 8-2 run to open the half and lead 51-37. The Bulldogs could get no closer than 10 points the rest of the game.

Asheville controlled the glass with a 43-29 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs did a great job from the free throw line as they went 30-of-37 for a season-high 81 percent.

However, Asheville struggled from the field and three-point line. The Bulldogs went 21-of-52 for 40 percent and shot 34 percent (11-of-32) from the field in the second half. Asheville shot just 21 percent from the three-point line as it went 4-of-19. The Bulldogs were 1-of-11 from beyond the arc in the second half.

UNC Asheville plays next on Saturday afternoon when the Bulldogs travel to defending Big South Conference champion Radford at 4 p.m.