Asheville defeats Lancers, 81-42

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

Three double-figure scorers and a 21-4 run in the opening seven minutes of the game lifted first-place UNC Asheville to an 81-42 victory over the visiting Longwood University women’s basketball team Tuesday night at Kimmell Arena.

The Bulldogs captured their fourth win in their past five games, propelling them to 13-3 overall and 6-1 in the Big South, while remaining a perfect 7-0 inside Kimmel Arena this season. Meanwhile, the Lancers drop to 5-11 overall with a 2-5 mark in the Big South, as the contest snaps a two-game road winning streak for the blue and white.

Tianna Knuckles sparked Asheville’s game-opening 21-4 run with four three-pointers in the opening six minutes of the first quarter.

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Knuckles, who came into the game fifth in the Big South in three-point shooting percentage with a .376 clip and among the top-10 in the league with 13.3 points per game, finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting on the night.

Knuckles was one of 10 Bulldogs to find the scoresheet in the opening half, as eight Asheville players had at least four points in the opening frame en route to a scorching .667 shooting clip and a .700 percentage beyond the arc.

A 5-10 junior out of Wendell, N.C., Knuckles was one of three Bulldogs in double figures with her 14 points. In addition, Chatori Major poured in 12 points to go along with four assists, while Khalia Webb added 11 on 3-of-5 shooting.

For Longwood, junior college transfer Eboni Gilliam scored a game-high 16 points and recorded nine boards to finish one rebound shy of her second career double-double. The game marked the 11th time this season that the Richmond, Va., product finished with six or more rebounds.

Longwood’s leading rebounder this season, Gilliam finished in double figures for the third time this season, eclipsing her former career-best 13 points against Notre Dame (Md.).

The game marks the fourth consecutive contest Gilliam has posted at least six boards, as she has averaged 8.8 boards in that stretch.

Redshirt-junior Daeisha Brown added eight points for the Lancers on 3-of-9 shooting, bringing the Richmond, Va., product within 51 points of scoring her 1,000th point of her Longwood career. Brown has come on in the last three games, averaging 13.3 points per contest.

The Bulldogs also were successful on the defensive end of the floor, holding the Lancers to .192 shooting from the floor in the opening half and forcing 10 turnovers. For the game, Asheville held Longwood to .297 shooting and limited the Lancers to two made three-point field goals — it’s second lowest total of the season.

Up next, Longwood looks to rebound as it hosts in-state foe Radford Saturday, inside Willett Hall. The opening tip is set for 2 p.m.