Home Longwood roars back with big second half, knocks off UNC Asheville, 80-75

Longwood roars back with big second half, knocks off UNC Asheville, 80-75

Chris Graham
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Longwood took down Big South co-leader UNC Asheville, 80-75, in Farmville on Wednesday night.

Walyn Napper led the Lancers (17-11, 5-8 Big South) with 16 points and seven assists.

Longwood, down 35-29 at the half, put up 51 points in the second half on UNC Asheville (19-10, 11-3 Big South).

“I loved our second-half purpose,” Longwood coach Griff Aldrich said. “I thought our guys really responded. I thought we got really frustrated in the first half and got disconnected. In the second half, we were really connected, stayed the course and if we can do that for 40 minutes, we’ll live with the results.”

Napper scored 10 of his 16 points after halftime, but it was his passing that unlocked the Lancers. Five of his seven assists came in the second half, and the team drilled 10-of-15 from three.

Eight different players scored after halftime, and all nine that played scored in the game to help the team improve to 12-3 within the confines of the Joan Perry Brock Center.

Six different Lancers hit a three in the second half. Michael Christmas led the charge from deep with three triples, the third time in four games he has hit at least three from downtown. He had 13 points.

“You think about the journey this team has been on,” Aldrich said. “It started out with a bang, then it kind of got punched in the mouth a couple times at the beginning of conference and was trying to find its identity. I really think after that Charleston Southern away game, I think our approach has been very different, and I credit Walyn Napper and DA Houston in large part for bringing a real sense of purpose. You see a team now that is becoming more and more confident and believing in itself. That’s a big thing.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].