When: Saturday, 7:00 PM
Where: St. Falwell Liberty University, Roanoke, V.A.
Media: ESPN3, WWNC 570/iHeartRadio
“You win your home games, and then steal some on the road.” – Eddie Biedenbach. If that’s the standard by which to measure this season, then Asheville is becoming a criminal mastermind.
The Bulldogs did not play their best basketball of the season on Thursday night, but they came away with a win against a hot-shooting VMI team. In the end, what mattered was free throw shooting, and Asheville demonstrated its prowess at the line. I’ll put it this way: a friend called me when he saw the box score and said: “free throws win championships.”
Matt Dickey had a stellar game, but more than anything last night’s victory proves the mantra “there is no ‘I’ in team” true. The Bulldogs play best together when they’re firing on all five cylinders, and it’s a credit to the four starting seniors that this team functions as well as it does on the court. At times Asheville looks more disciplined and focused than major-conference teams, who are plagued by the NBA siphoning off players after one or two years, before they’ve really had time to gel and develop team chemistry that’s so important to winning championships.
The Bulldogs take their 12-1 conference record to Liberty this evening, where the Flames have been streaky as of late, winning four of their past six games. Liberty is a short team, much like the Bulldogs, and also feature a balanced attack with five players averaging ten or more points per game. Nonetheless, this is a game that Asheville should win before getting a week off to prepare for another road trip to Virginia.