HARROGATE, Tenn. (release) -- The Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team has reached yet another historic milestone. On Tuesday afternoon, the Railsplitters were voted to the top spot in the NABC Division II Basketball poll.
This selection sets the standard for excellence in men's basketball in the South Atlantic Conference, as this marks the first number one national ranking by any men's basketball team in SAC history. This is also the only basketball team in Lincoln Memorial University history to be ranked number one in the country.
"It is certainly a tremendous honor for both our kids and the institution we are privileged to represent," stated head coach Josh Schertz. "I am most happy for our supporters, fans, and administration, as our success over the last few years has certainly been a shared effort. We have a wonderful team at Lincoln Memorial University that starts with the Board of Trustees and continues with our President Dr. Jim Dawson along with our Director of Athletics Roger Vannoy.
"While we are humbled and honored to be ranked #1, it is impossible to have sustained success if your looking in the rearview mirror. Our focus has never been about rankings, winning streaks or any other external distractions. We have a tremendous amount of basketball left to play, and our goal hasn't changed. We want to become the absolute best we can both individually and collectively, which gives us the opportunity to become the best team possible."
The Railsplitters have been dominant this season as they are off to a 14-0 start and stand at the top of the South Atlantic Conference standings at 4-0. Lincoln Memorial has outscored their opponents this season by an average of 26.5 points a game. Defense has played a tremendous role in this run as the Railsplitters are holding their opponents to 35 percent from the field.
Four different players are averaging double digit scoring numbers for Lincoln Memorial, led by Vincent Bailey's 11.3 points a game.
LMU is in the midst of an historic run the past few season. Last season, the Railsplitters finished 27-3 and number ten nationally. They reached as high as number five in the NABC poll in the 2010-2011 season. LMU has a combined record of 61-12 over the last three seasons. The Railsplitters have been exceptionally dominant at home as they are on a 27 game winning streak in Tex Turner Arena, their last loss coming almost two years ago.
The Railsplitters will put their number one national ranking on display tomorrow evening, as the Lions of Mars Hill College travel to Tex Turner Arena. That game is scheduled to tip at 8 p.m.