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LWC Basketball opens MSC play at home today, Sat 6 Jan 2018

Blue Raider women vs Cumberland at 2pmCT, at Biggers Sports Center, 360 Spickard Drive, Columbia, KY, will be followed by Blue Raider Men vs Cumberland in doubleheader
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by Christopher Coombs, LWC Athletics writer

COLUMBIA, KY - The Lindsey Wilson men and women's basketball teams open the 2018 calendar year and Mid-South Conference play todaym Saturday, January 6, as the Blue Raiders host Cumberland (TN) in a doubleheader at Biggers Sports Center beginning at 2pmCT.

It marks the beginning of conference play for all four programs starting with the women's matchup followed by the men's game.

No. 12 LW Women enter conference play 12-2
No. 12-ranked Lindsey Wilson (12-2) last competed on December 18, 2017, as part of the Xavier (LA) Classic. The Blue Raiders topped Xavier 69-60, but fell on the first day of the classic to 20th-ranked Dillard (LA) 59-54.

Kayla Styles leads the team in both points per game (18.7) and rebounds per game (10.6), with her rebounding average leading the conference. Reagan Turner averages 16.2 points per game and leads the squad in both assists and steals. Gerda Paulauskaite helps spearhead a defense that leads the nation in team blocks per game with 6.1. Paulauskaite tops the individual leaderboard with 3.2 blocks per game. As a team, the Blue Raiders also rank second in NAIA Division I in rebounds per game and are seventh in offensive rebounds per game.

Unranked Cumberland Women enter conference play 11-4
Cumberland (11-4) is receiving votes in the national poll and is coming off a 55-52 victory over Stillman (AL) on Thursday night. Jailen Murphy hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds to go to help lift the Phoenix to their eighth-consecutive victory.

Kyra Tucker leads the team with 10.9 points per game, followed closely by Ant'Treasia Patton (9.8) and Micah Norris (9.7). Kaitlin Oliver averages a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. As a team, allows just 53.3 points per game, which is the sixth-lowest average in NAIA Division I. The Phoenix have also racked up 172 total steals, the 11th most.

The two women's program's met three times last season with the Blue Raiders winning all three matchups, including a 72-53 win in the MSC Tournament Quarterfinals. Those three victories helped Lindsey Wilson pull ahead in the all-time series matchup as LWC is now 17-15 against the Phoenix.

Blue Raider men have perfect record, 14-0
On the men's side, eighth-ranked Lindsey Wilson put together a perfect first half of the schedule with a 14-0 record. The Blue Raiders last competed at the LWC Christmas Classic on Dec. 15-16 when LWC picked up wins over Toccoa Falls (Ga.) and Taylor (Ind.).

Bryan Wallace leads the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game. Kel Stotts averages 15.4 per game while Charles Sutton (12.4), Jordan Hamlette (12.1) and Nic Brown (10.1) also each average double-digit scoring per contest. Brown leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 boards per contest while also averaging 2.8 blocks per game, the most in the MSC and third most in the NAIA. Wallace leads the conference and the nation with 3.9 steals per game. As a team, the Blue Raiders rank in the top-10 in NAIA Division I in 16 different statistical categories, including assists per game (2nd), blocks per game (2nd), scoring margin (3rd), field goal percentage (4th) and total rebound margin (7th).

Cumberland men are dead even: 7 wins, 7 losses.
Cumberland (7-7) is coming off an 84-79 loss to Stillman on Thursday night. The Phoenix have lost four of their last five matchups entering conference play on Saturday.

Diondrey Holt, Jr. leads the team with 16.6 points per game, followed by Juandrico Walker (11.6) and Andrew Rogan (11.3). Walker also leads the squad with 8.1 rebounds per game. Cumberland averages 72.4 points per contest compared to Lindsey Wilson's 95.4.

The Lindsey Wilson men defeated Cumberland twice last year. LWC owns a 32-10 all-time record against the Phoenix.

Live video and stats will be available for both matchups.

Tipoff for Saturday's conference doubleheader is scheduled for 2pmCT from Biggers Sports Center.

This story was posted on 2018-01-06 07:25:56
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