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UNCA Bulldogs Down Winthrop 66-53

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Sean Smith scored 20 points and knocked down six 3-pointers as UNC Asheville downed Winthrop 66-53 before a close to sell-out crowd of 1,076 at Justice Center Thursday night.

The victory gave Bulldog coach Eddie Biedenbach his 110th Big South Conference win and made him the league’s all-time winningest coach in regular-season conference games.

Asheville (7-12, 4-4 BSC) won its fourth straight, while the visiting Eagles (8-10, 4-4 BSC) had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Matt Dickey contributed 11 points for the Bulldogs. He also had six assists and six rebounds.

“I’m just happy we won the game and beat a good Winthrop team,” said Biedenbach afterwards. “The record is nice but I’ve gotten the record because I’ve had some great players and some great assistant coaches.”

Winthrop was led by Mantoris Robinson with 11 points, while Matt Morgan finished with 10 points. Andy Buechert had a game-high 11 rebounds.

Smith helped break the game open for the Bulldogs in the second half. The senior guard knocked down four straight 3-pointers as Asheville built a 44-34 lead at the 15:48 mark. The Bulldogs scored six more points after Smith’s barrage to build the lead to 50-34 as Chris Stephenson scored on a tap-in and freshman center D.J. Cunningham hit two lay-ups. The second put Asheville up 16 at 50-34 with 10 minutes left. Winthrop went seven minutes without a basket.

The Eagles clawed back in the game with strong inside play and some three-pointers. A trey from Robbie Dreher at the 4:39 mark cut the lead to 56-49.

Asheville led 60-53 with two minutes left and the Eagles had a chance to get closer but misfired on a three-point attempt. The Bulldogs were able to get an offensive rebound and Smith sealed the victory with a long trey from the right corner to put the home team in front 63-53 at the 1-minute mark.

The Bulldogs held Winthrop to just 33 percent shooting (21-of-63) from the field. The Eagles also had a tough time from long distance as they shot just 21 percent (4-of-19). Smith also had six assists and three steals. Cunningham came off the bench and had nine points and four blocked shots. John Williams had eight points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

“I thought our guys played hard for 40 minutes tonight and that’s what we knew it would take to beat a team like Winthrop,” said Biedenbach. “We did a great job on defense and Sean Smith got hot for us in the second half. Sean played a fine overall game, as well.”

Asheville shot 48 percent (28-of-59) from the field and 43 percent (6-of-14) from long distance. The Bulldogs were 5-of-8 from beyond the arc in the second half.

Asheville stays at home to play Presbyterian Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. The Eagles travel to Gardner-Webb on Saturday.

UNCA Men’s Basketball Heads to High Point

Monday, January 4th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team looks to snap a three-game losing streak Monday night when the Bulldogs journey to High Point for a 7 p.m. Big South Conference contest. Monday’s game will be broadcast on WISE Radio (1310-AM) with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.

Asheville (3-9, 1-1 BSC) battled but fell at defending Big South Conference champion Radford Saturday afternoon, 82-74. The Bulldogs fell behind 25-8 after eight minutes but fought back to take a 56-55 lead midway through the second half. Radford went on a 13-2 run to seize control of the game and pick up its fifth straight victory over Asheville.

“We did a great job coming back and battling against Radford’s massive front-line, but we’ve got to stop falling behind by so much so early,” stated Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. “We also made too many mistakes down the stretch that we simply shouldn’t be making.”

Biedenbach did see bright spots in the Radford loss.

“We out-rebounded Radford (37-33) which is impressive when you look at their front-line,” commented Biedenbach. “We were able to make the game a full-court game in the second half and that helped us come back. I like the way we cut down on our turnovers (13).”

Asheville had five players in double figures against Radford as sophomore guard Matt Dickey came off the bench to score 15 points. Freshman center D.J. Cunningham continued his good work with 12 points, while Sean Smith and J.P. Primm finished with 11 points each. John Williams tallied 10 points.

The Bulldogs have a short turnaround as they get ready to face a tough High Point team on the road. The Panthers, under first-year coach Scott Cherry have a 6-6 overall record and are 2-1 in league play. High Point is unbeaten this year at home at 5-0. Asheville won two close games against the Panthers last season, winning 61-59 at Justice Center and 81-78 in overtime at High Point. The Bulldogs have had a hard time winning at the Millis Center as last year’s victory broke a five-game losing streak there.

“High Point is playing well under Scott Cherry,” stated Biedenbach. “They have a good inside-outside game and are always a tough game for us. We won them both last year but they easily could have gone the other way with just a play or two.”

The Bulldogs are in the middle of a five games in 10 days stretch. After Monday night, Asheville hosts Coastal Carolina Thursday night and Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon.

UNCA Women’s Basketball Faces Western Michigan in JMU Tournament

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The UNC Asheville women’s basketball team will compete in the James Madison Invitational Tournament this Tuesday and Wednesday at the JMU Convocation Center. The Bulldogs will battle Western Michigan Tuesday afternoon starting at 5 p.m. Asheville will play either Lafayette or host James Madison on Wednesday at either 5 or 7 p.m.

The tournament is a homecoming for Bulldog head coach Betsy Blose. Coach Blose played and coached at James Madison and is a native of Harrisonburg, Va. where the school is located.

“This is an exciting tournament for us to be in and for me to coach in,” commented Blose. “The tournament should provide some great competition for our team.”

Asheville played last and battled before falling to Elon at home, 73-68 on Dec. 21. The Bulldogs trailed by 18 in the second half and just missed tying the game late.

“We did a nice job coming back against Elon,” declared Blose. “Our effort was excellent, and we almost pulled it out. We just got too far behind.

“We’re still a work in progress,” added Blose. “We just need to put the pieces together.”

Asheville faces the Western Michigan Broncos on Tuesday. WMU is 4-7 on the season but has faced a tough schedule.

Junior forward Lindsey Montgomery is Asheville’s leading scorer going into the tournament. She is averaging 12 points per game and averaging 9.8 rebounds per outing. Montgomery has posted three double-doubles this season with two of them in the last three games. She has averaged 14.7 rebounds per game in the last three outings.