As a matter of fact, the Cavaliers held a two-point lead over the No. 3 Railsplitters.
Five minutes later, LMU had started a run to pull away from the upset-minded Cavaliers.
The Railsplitters (14-1, 7-0) outscored UVA Wise 23-11 over the final 9:38 of the South Atlantic Conference game to pull away for a 76-64 victory.
The outcome was in jeopardy until the final run of the game.
LMU led 31-29 at halftime.
The Cavaliers (5-8, 1-6) continued to give LMU fits through the first 10 minutes of the second half.
“It was really a heck of an effort. We just — more than anything — I thought we ran out of gas,” said UVA Wise coach Blake Mellinger. “I think we got kind of fatigued there probably the last five minutes of the game, and that led to some easy buckets by them.”
LMU’s Courvoisier McCauley scored 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the win.
The Railsplitters got 16 points from Devin Whited, while Anthony Brown added 12 and Cameron Henry had 11.
Kaeleb Carter led UVA Wise with 16 points, while Cameron Whiteside finished with 15 for the Cavs. Chance Sheffey added 12.
LMU LADIES ROLL EARLY
For three quarters Lincoln Memorial controlled nearly every facet of the game.
The Railsplitters (5-6, 4-3) held on in the fourth quarter to come away with a 76-62 SAC women’s basketball win over UVA Wise.
“We literally let them do what they wanted to do,” Cavalier coach Jamie Cluesman said.
The two teams battled to an 11-11 tie in the first quarter, but LMU outscored the Cavs 26-14 in the second quarter and 20-10 in the third to build a commanding 57-35 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
UVA Wise outscored the Railsplitters 27-19 in the final period, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead built by LMU through the first three quarters.
“I’m very proud of my girls with the way they played for the last 6:30 of the game,” Cluesman said. “If we play with that amount of energy the whole time, we probably come out on the other end of the game.”
LMU shot 49.1% (28 of 57) from the floor in the game, while the Cavs (7-6, 3-4) hit 20 of 53 shots (37.7%).
The Railsplitters also controlled the boards.
LMU out-rebounded UVA Wise 44-29.
The Railsplitters had a balanced scoring attack with five players finishing in double figures.
Shermeria Quarleshad scored a team-high 16 points for LMU, while Kyndall Caudle scored 11 and the trio of Lauren Flowers, Sydney Newsome and Lindsay Proffitt each finished with 10 points.
The Cavaliers got a game-high 22 points from Nia Vanzant, while senior Cynita Webb finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kalee Johnson (Happy Valley) added 10 for UVA Wise.