LU looking to improve on .500 in Big South

Published 4:01 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Longwood University men’s basketball team started out its Big South schedule looking like the No. 1 team in the conference, and the Lancers (6-11, 3-3 Big South) are aiming to regain that form as they host Radford University (8-9, 3-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Longwood dropped to .500 in the Big South with an 85-79 loss to visiting Gardner-Webb University on Saturday.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs (10-9, 2-3) found Longwood’s Achilles’ heel. As the Big South’s second-leading rebounding team, Gardner-Webb won the battle of the boards 48-28 and generated 21 second-chance points against the Lancers in a physical battle.

“Definitely the story of the game was rebounding the basketball,” said Longwood Head Coach Jayson Gee. “I think size played a big difference, but we didn’t do a great job boxing out. They were able to rebound the basketball, and we weren’t.”

Playing against a Longwood lineup without injured forwards Damarion Geter and Jahleem Montague, the Runnin’ Bulldogs grabbed 22 of their boards on the offensive glass and turned those extra opportunities into 18 additional shots from the field. That effort was enough to overcome a 22-point game from Longwood senior guard Darrion Allen, who surpassed the 900-point plateau and is now just 81 points shy of becoming the sixth 1,000-point scorer of Longwood’s 10-year Division I era.

Lancers redshirt junior forward Khris Lane racked up his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds but could do little else to offset a Gardner-Webb team that rolled out five players 6-feet, 6-inches or taller.

Redshirt sophomore guard Isaiah Walton also added 19 points for Longwood and a team-high six assists and six steals to go with five boards.

Lancers senior guard Isaac Belton contributed nine points.