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Longwood Insider: Week 5 In The Big South
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VIDEO INSIDER (YouTube) | ONLINE TEAM GUIDE | FOLLOW ON TWITTER | BIG SOUTH REPORT (PDF)

FARMVILLE, Va. --
Longwood University dropped two Big South Conference men's basketball games last week, falling 74-47 at North Division and in-state rival Liberty University on January 22, and 82-71 at home to South Division opponent Presbyterian College on Jan. 26.  The Lancers continue to look for their first conference victory with an overall record of 3-18, including 0-7 in the Big South.  Longwood will play two games on the road this week at North Division opponent High Point University on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., followed by a trip to South Division opponent Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina on Saturday, February 2 at 7 p.m.

Looking Ahead to High Point
High Point has a record of 9-10 overall, including 4-3 in the Big South following a 69-58 road loss at UNC Asheville on Jan. 26.  Scott Cherry is in his fourth season with the Panthers, where he has compiled a record of 49-62.  Redshirt-freshman John Brown (17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds) and graduate student Allan Chaney (13.9 points, 7.4 rebounds) lead the Panthers. HPU is scoring 72.1 points per game, allowing 67.4 points, while shooting 44% from the field, including 28% on three-point field goals (4.2) and 74% at the free throw line.  Longwood and High Point have met 19 times since December 1, 1984, and the Panthers lead the overall series, 13-6, though the Lancers took a 70-66 home win in the most recent meeting on Feb. 2, 2010.

In the Words of Head Coach Mike Gillian
“We have two more road challenges this week, as we continue to work toward that first Big South victory.  High Point is a team that is a little different than most in the league in that a pair of talented interior players leads them, whereas most of the Big South is perimeter-oriented.  We'll need to do a good job containing (John) Brown and (Allan) Chaney, and handling their defensive pressure to be in position to be successful.”

Looking Ahead to Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb has a record of 11-10 overall, including 3-4 in the Big South following a 63-49 road win at VMI on Jan. 26, and before a road game at Charleston Southern on Jan. 30. Chris Holtmann is in his third season with the Bulldogs, where he has compiled a record of 34-51.  Sophomore Donta Harper (13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds) and redshirt-senior Tashan Newsome (13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds) lead the Bulldogs.  GWU is scoring 65.0 points per game, allowing 60.0 points, while shooting 42% from the field, including 30% on three-pointers (5.1) and 70% at the line. Longwood and Gardner-Webb have met eight times since Dec. 5, 1990, and the Lancers lead the overall series, 5-3, including an 85-84 home win in the most recent meeting on November 18, 2008.

In the Words of Head Coach Mike Gillian
“On Saturday at Gardner-Webb, we'll face a team that has a well-balanced attack offensively, plays sound fundamental defense and rebounds the ball very well.  Gardner-Webb had some really good wins in the non-conference part of the schedule and has been in a bunch of close games in league play. I'm sure they'll be ready for us.”

Looking Back on Liberty
Longwood and Liberty played closely for most of the first half, as it was tied at 19-19 with 6:10 to go before the Flames closed the half on a 14-8 run to lead 33-27 at halftime. The Lancers were still within 42-34 with 15:11 remaining before Liberty used a 15-2 run to take control, leading 57-36 at 8:21, en route to the home win.  Freshman Karl Ziegler|Annandale led Longwood with a career-high 12 points, including 8-8 free throws, adding five rebounds.  Junior captain Tristan Carey|Colonial Beach added 10 points and five rebounds off the bench for the Lancers before fouling out with 3:20 left.  LU shot 31% (17-55) from the field, including 13% (2-15) on three-pointers, and 85% (11-13) at the free throw line.  John Caleb Sanders led Liberty with a game-high 20 points, adding five rebounds and four assists.  The Flames shot 53% (28-53) from the field, including 60% (15-25) in the second half, 44% (7-16) on three-pointers, and 65% (11-17) at the line.  The two schools were meeting for 26th time since 1977-78, but for the first time in five seasons, and the Lancers continue to lead the overall series, 17-9.

In the Words of Head Coach Mike Gillian
“It was not a good second half.  We had scrapped back to within six points at halftime but just did not play well right from the beginning of the second half.  Liberty drove the ball right at us to start the half, scoring right around the rim on probably 10 of their first 12 possessions.  On offense, we were very impatient in the last 20 minutes and not very productive.  Liberty was the better team.  We'll have to play much better when we see them in Willett Hall next month.”

Looking Back on Presbyterian
Longwood and Presbyterian played closely for most of the first half with the Blue Hose using a 20-11 run to take their largest lead of the first half at 35-25 with 4:58 left. The Lancers closed the half with an 11-4 run to trail just 39-36 at the intermission, and were still within 61-60 at 7:05, and 65-64 with 5:41 left to play.  PC, however, finished on a decisive 17-7 game-ending run en route to the road win.  Junior captain David Robinson|Chesterfield and freshman Michael Kessens|Nyon, Switzerland led Longwood with their respective 16 points each, with Kessens adding six rebounds and Robinson tying his career high with three steals.  Redshirt-sophomore Jeylani Dublin|Brooklyn, New York had 13 points and six rebounds for the Lancers.  Tristan Carey finished with 12 points and a game-high four steals. LU shot 46% (25-54) from the field, including 40% (4-10) on three-pointers and 74% (17-23) at the line.  Khalid Mutakabbir led Presbyterian with a career-high and game-high 29 points.  PC shot 53% (30-57) from the field, including 46% (6-13) on three-pointers and was a perfect 100% (16-16) at the line. The two schools were playing for the first-time ever in the sport.
 
In the Words of Head Coach Mike Gillian
“When you're in a tough time like we find ourselves right now, you find out what you're really made of.  This is the fifth time in the seven league games that we have been in position to succeed in the latter stages of the game.  We have seemingly found five different ways to keep us from winning in those games and need to find a way to break through that.”

Leading the Lancers | SEASON STATISTICS
Tristan Carey (14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 47 3FGs) and Michael Kessens (11.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 52% FG) continue to lead Longwood.  Freshman Nik Brown|Ashburn (9.7 points, 3.6 assists), Jeylani Dublin (9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 53% FG), David Robinson (9.1 points, 25 3FGs), Karl Ziegler (6.1 points) and freshman Lucas Woodhouse|Greenlawn, New York (3.0 points, 3.8 assists) have also been in the starting lineup.  The Lancers are scoring 68.8 points per game, allowing 81.9 points, while shooting 43% (520-1224) from the field, including 30% (102-344) on three-pointers (4.9) and 66% (239-363) at the line.

This is a First
Longwood is eligible for league statistical rankings for the first time in its Division I era. Through Jan. 26, Michael Kessens leads the Big South in rebounding (9.2), defensive rebounds (6.2) and double-doubles (8), is tied for second in offensive rebounds (3.0), fifth in blocks (1.4), 10th in minutes (32.2) and 20th in scoring (11.6).  Tristan Carey ranks second in steals (2.1), fifth in minutes (33.4), tied for fifth in three-point field goals (2.2), seventh in three-point percentage (.353), eighth in scoring (14.7) and 12th in field goal percentage (.428) and defensive rebounds (4.0).  Jeylani Dublin ranks eighth in offensive rebounds (2.7), tied for 10th in double-doubles (2) and is 14th in rebounding (6.0). Lucas Woodhouse ranks in a tie for seventh in assists (3.8), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.5) and tied for 15th in double-doubles (1).  Nik Brown ranks ninth in assists (3.7), 11th in assist/turnover ratio (0.9) and 13th in free throw percentage (.688). The Lancers are fifth in assists (13.5).

Big South-Only
In seven Big South games, and among top-10 individually, Michael Kessens leads the league in defensive rebounds (6.1), is tied for fifth in rebounding (7.9), seventh in minutes (35.1) and tied for seventh in blocks (1.0).  Lucas Woodhouse is second in assists (6.4) and third in assist/turnover ratio (2.3).  Tristan Carey is second in steals (2.0) and seventh in three-pointers (2.4).  Karl Ziegler is sixth in free throw percentage (.857, 18-21). Jeylani Dublin is tied for seventh in blocks (1.0).  The Lancers are tied for third in assists (14.1), fourth in free throw percentage (.723, 86-119), tied for fifth in steals (7.0) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.0).

Division I Statistical Rankings
Through Jan. 27, Michael Kessens ranked 21st nationally in double-doubles (8), 38th in rebounding (9.2) and 149th in blocks (1.4).  Tristan Carey ranked 52nd in steals (2.1), 131st in three-pointers (2.2), 221st in field goal percentage (.428) and 224th in scoring (14.7).  Lucas Woodhouse ranked 183rd in assists (3.8) and 199th in assist/turnover ratio (1.5).  Nik Brown ranked 204th in assists (3.6).  The Lancers ranked 128th in steals (7.3) and 131st in assists (13.5).

The Three-Point Stat
Longwood has made at least one three-point field goal in 321 consecutive games, dating back to a road game at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne (11.26.02, 0-6), including a school-record 20 three-pointers made at home during 2011-12 against now Big South opponent VMI (12.12.11, 20-40). The streak, however, was in jeopardy a year ago against UMKC (11.26.11, 1-13) during the 2011 Chicago Invitational Challenge.  The Lancers have made 102 three-pointers (4.9) in the first 21 games this year, including 17 made during the two games in Las Vegas on Nov. 23-24.  Longwood has made a season-high, nine three-pointers two times, including against Cornell (9-22) in Las Vegas on Nov. 24 and at UNC Asheville (9-23) on Jan. 19.  The season-low is one made three-pointer at home against Southern Virginia on Dec. 13 (1-8).

Longwood Against The Big South Conference
Longwood is 40-52 all-time against current members of the Big South Conference, including 0-7 this season.  Prior to this year, and since becoming Division I-eligible in 2007, the Lancers were 7-6 against Big South schools.  Longwood series records against the conference schools include: Campbell (3-4), Charleston Southern (1-1), Coastal Carolina (1-1), Gardner-Webb (5-3), High Point (6-13), Liberty (17-9), UNC Asheville (0-3), Presbyterian (0-1), Radford (4-13), VMI (2-3) and Winthrop (1-1).

Leaving the Non-Conference Behind
Longwood has played 14 non-conference games this season and only has a yet-to-be-determined Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters (non-conference) game remaining on February 23, to be announced on Feb. 4.  The non-league slate was brutal with nine games away from Farmville, including road losses at No. 12 Creighton (RPI: 30), No. 21 Georgetown (RPI: 38), VCU (RPI: 39), Seton Hall (RPI: 93) and Arkansas (RPI: 94).  The Lancers have also lost on the road at Canisius (RPI: 137) and Marshall (RPI: 192).

No Place Like Home
Longwood has attained a home record of 48-26 in Willett Hall over the last five-plus years since receiving its NCAA Division I certification and eligibility for 2007-08.  Not including the first season playing a Division I schedule in 2004-05 (1-10), the Lancers are 62-36 at home over the past seven-plus years.  Though a very uncharacteristic 2-7 at home this season, Longwood was 7-5 during 2011-12, 10-4 during 2010-11, 9-3 during 2009-10, an outstanding 13-2 during 2008-09, 7-5 during 2007-08, 6-6 during 2006-07, and 8-4 at home during 2005-06.  Overall, Longwood has compiled a record of 266-145 on its home court over 32-plus years since playing its first intercollegiate contest in the building on November 22, 1980 against the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, a 62-54 victory by the Lancers.

Big South Conference Weekly Honors
Michael Kessens has been named The Crons Brand/Big South Freshman of the Week two times this season: on Nov. 19 for his efforts against Norfolk State (17 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks, one steal) and Arkansas (17 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, two blocks, one assist), and on Dec. 17 for his efforts against No. 21 Georgetown (10 points, five rebounds, one assist) and Southern Virginia (16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, one steal).  Nik Brown has been named The Crons Brand/Big South Freshman of the Week one time this season on Jan. 7 for his efforts against Fairleigh Dickinson (12 points, three rebounds, a career-high five steals, four assists) and Coastal Carolina (19 points, one rebound, five assists).

Collegehoopsdaily.com Honor
Collegehoopsdaily.com has named Michael Kessens one of the five best players in the Big South Conference for the first half of the 2012-13 season.  At the time (14 games), he was averaging 11.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 52.1% (63-121) from the field (0-4 3FG) and 68.0% (34-50) at the free throw line.  Kessens added 30.8 minutes per game, along with 22 blocks and 19 steals while posting a league-best six double-doubles.  Others named to the list were D.J. Covington of VMI, Anthony Raffa of Coastal Carolina, Stan Okoye of VMI (named the best) and Darren White of Campbell.

Proud New Member of the Big South Conference
In case you missed it … Longwood became the newest member of the Big South Conference on July 1, 2012.  Conference officials had announced on January 23, 2012 that Longwood would become the League's 12th member following a unanimous vote by the Big South Council of Chief Executive Officers.  The announcement was made on campus by Big South President and Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle, along with Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander, former Longwood Board of Visitors Rector and current interim President Marge Connelly, former Longwood President Patrick Finnegan and Director of Athletics Troy Austin.  The addition of Longwood increases Big South membership to 12 institutions for the first time in League history, and the conference now has four members based in Virginia (Liberty, Longwood, Radford, VMI), as well as four each in North Carolina (Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point, UNC Asheville) and South Carolina (Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Presbyterian, Winthrop). The Lancers had competed as a Division I Independent since 2007.

Big South Network
The Big South Network is the official video provider for all Big South Conference games.  Each member institution is required to produce broadcasts for every home basketball game to be streamed live via the conference network.  A paid subscription is required to view live events, with both single-game and season passes available.  The Big South Network has an archive of on-demand videos that can be viewed for free.  You can view the Longwood Lancers TV site to watch all of the Lancers' webcasts and see a schedule of upcoming events by visiting longwoodlancers.com or bigsouthsports.com.

VisitMyrtlebeach.com Big South Championships
The 2013 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Men's Basketball Championships will take place March 5-10 at The HTC Center, Coastal Carolina's new Student Recreation and Convocation Center in Conway, South Carolina.  All 12 Big South member schools will participate with seeding by divisions -- the top two teams with the best overall conference win-loss percentage in each of the divisions shall receive the top four seeds in the championship and first round byes. The remaining seeds shall be determined based on divisional finish.  In the event of a tie for a particular seed, the seed will be determined within each division.  Longwood is in the North Division along with Campbell, High Point, Liberty, Radford and VMI.  The South Division includes Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian, UNC Asheville and Winthrop.

What's Ahead Next Week?
Longwood will return home to play four of five North Division games in Willett Hall between Feb. 6-19, including VMI on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. (Greek Night), High Point on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. (VisitMyrtleBeach.com Beach Theme Night), Radford on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. (Reunion Day and Jerome Kersey Bobblehead Giveaway) and Liberty on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. (Senior Night).
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