GAME FACTS – The Emory men's basketball team opens the program's 32nd year of University Athletic Association play on Saturday (Jan. 5) when it plays at the University of Rochester. The Louis Alexander Palestra located on the UR campus will serve as the site of the 63rd meeting between the two schools and tip is slated for 2:00 pm.
THE COACHES – Jason Zimmerman (Davidson, 1994) is in his 12th year of patrolling the Emory sideline. Named head coach in April of 2007, Zimmerman came to Emory after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Evansville (2003-04 through 2006-07). Prior to his stint with the Aces, Zimmerman was an assistant at Davidson College for seven years (1996-97 through 2002-03).
During his tenure with the Eagles, he ranks as the program's winningest coach, compiling a school and career record of 203-99. In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 118-28 ledger and an 85-71 mark in road/neutral settings.
He has guided Emory to nine straight winning seasons and six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). The Eagles are the lone D-III school to have won at least one NCAA contest in each of the past six years.
After going 17-33 his first two years at Emory, Zimmerman has compiled a won-lost slate of 186-66 (.738) since the 2009-10 season.
Luke Flockerzi is in his ninth campaign as the head coach at Rochester. Heading into Saturday's match-up vs. Emory Flockerzi has manufactured a school ledger of 148-72, guiding the Yellowjackets to three trips to the NCAA Tournament. In 12 years as a head coach, which includes a three-year run at Skidmore College, Flockerzi claims a career mark of 178-118.
2018-19 RECORDS – Emory will square off against Rochester with wins in its last five games that has upped its record to 9-2. In their most recent outings, the Eagles came away with two double-digit victories at the Emory Holiday Classic (Dec. 29-30), defeating Oswego State (91-73) and East Texas Baptist (95-66). Sophomores Romin Williams (17.0 ppg) and Matt Schner (16.5 ppg) paced the team's scoring attack with Williams tying the school's single-game record for the second time this year with eight three-point field goals en route to a 28-point effort against East Texas Baptist.
Emory is 6-1 in home games and 3-1 in away/neutral contests this season.
Rochester, ranked 17th by D3hoops.com, will bring a 10-1 slate into its meeting with the Eagles. The Yellowjackets are coming off a 68-60 victory at Catholic on Wednesday. UR is 6-0 at home and 3-1 in road/neutral affairs.
SERIES RECORDS – In a series that began in January of 1988, Rochester holds an all-time mark of 37-25 vs. Emory. The Eagles have won seven of the last eight battles including both of last season's outings, 80-62 in Atlanta and 71-61 in Rochester. Rochester has won 24 of the 31 contests on its home floor, though Emory has emerged victorious in three of the last four outings at the Palestra.
EMORY ON THE GLASS – Emory continued its strong play on the boards in its Holiday Classic, registering a 43-38 advantage in the category against Oswego State before posting a hefty 60-38 margin over the Tigers of East Texas Baptist, with that showing a season high as well as tying the program's seventh-highest game standard.
The Eagles have outrebounded their last six and 10 of their 11 foes, and have finished with a double-digit edge in that department on five occasions. Emory is averaging a conference-tying best 44.6 boards per outing including a league-high 16.0 caroms on the offensive end of the floor, helping it to an edge in second-chance points in eight games.
Emory claims three of the UAA's top-11 rebounders, led by sophomore Lawrence Rowley whose 8.1 per-game average is good for the No. 5 spot on the league ladder. Sophomore Matt Davet (6.6 rpg) ranks ninth on the conference ladder while classmate Matt Schner holds down the No. 11 slot (6.4 rpg).
The Rowely, Schner and Davet trio have either individually or collectively ranked as the team's top performers in rebound in 10 outings with Rowley leading or tying for club honors in seven outings.
EMORY BENCH ANSWERING THE CALL – Emory has used its depth to its advantage this season as the Eagle reserves have outscored their counterparts by a 373 (33.9 ppg) to 251 (22.8 ppg) margin. Emory has recorded the advantage in the points-off-bench category in eight contests and has seen the reserves total 40 or more points in four games.
OFFENSE IN AMPLE SUPPLY – Offense has been plentiful for Emory thus far, with the Eagles ranking first among UAA squads and 11th in Division III (through Jan. 1) with a 93.0 points per game average.
Emory has scored 90 or more points in its last five and in a total of eight contests this year, and has cracked the 100-point plateau twice. During their current five-game win streak, the Eagles are averaging 98.0 points and shooting 47.7 percent (183-of-384) from the floor.
The Eagles' five straight outings of 90 or more points ties the 2013-14 squad (Nov. 23 – Dec.3, 2013) for the program's second-longest streak. The 1989-90 team holds the top mark with seven straight performances of 90 or more points (Jan. 5 – Jan. 26, 1990) en route to closing out that season with a school-record 17 contests of 90 or more points.
EMORY FEATURES BALANCED ATTACK -- Emory has employed a balanced scoring attack through its first 11 games with six players averaging in double figures. Leading the scoring parade is sophomore Romin Williams at 17.5 points per game, good for the No. 1 spot on the UAA chart. Williams has scored in doubles figures on nine occasions and has five performances of 20 or more points. Matt Davet, a double-figure scorer in nine games, is second on the team and stands fourth among league players at 16.3 points per outing. Lawrence Rowley holds down the No. 9 position on the UAA list (14.5 ppg) and tops the team with 10 double-figure scoring games. Matt Schner (12.3 ppg) and senior Gebereal Baitey (10.8 ppg) place among the conference's top 20 scorers at 15th and 19th, respectively. Sophomore Clay Washburn, who played in his first two games of the year last weekend, closed out the Holiday Classic by averaging 10.0 points.
EAGLES AND THE CENTURY MARK – Emory's 116 points vs. Trinity (Dec. 1) established a school record for most points in a game, surpassing the previous mark of 112 set against Sewanee on Nov. 29, 2005. Earlier in the season (Nov. 17), the Eagles dialed up 109 points vs. Keuka College, which at the time tied the program's sixth-highest game total.
In its history, Emory has scored 100 or more points 50 times and claims a 45-5 ledger in such outings. During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory has 19 contests of 100 or more points and stands 18-1 in those games.
EMORY USES THE THREE-BALL – Emory stands first in the UAA and 25th in the D-III ranks (through Jan. 1) with an average of 10.7 three-point field goals per game. The Eagles have converted 10 or more triples on six occasions this season including a school-record 19 in the 116-77 victory over Trinity. The Eagles have been successful on 34.7 percent (118-of-340) of their attempts from beyond the arc, good for the No. 3 spot in the UAA.
The Eagles have had five or more players record three-pointers in five contests this season, highlighted by eight finding their way into the triple column vs. Keuka and seven in the Trinity tilt.
Earlier in the campaign, Emory tied a then-school record with 18 triples against Keuka College (Nov. 17).
ROWLEY FINDS THE MARK – Lawrence Rowley stands first on the team and 11th among University Athletic Association players with a 55.6 percent effort from the floor, converting 60-of-108 field goal attempts. Rowley has shot 50 percent or better on seven occasions and has four contests of 70 percent or higher (three at home, one on the road), most recently against Berry College when he nailed seven-of-10 field goal opportunities.
SHARE THE BALL – Emory has displayed a propensity for sharing the basketball with its average of 17.8 assists per game tops in the UAA and 31st among all D-III programs. The Eagles have doled out 20 or more assists three this year -- 29 vs. Trinity (Dec. 1), the third-highest mark in school history, 22 vs. East Texas Baptist (Dec. 30) and 21 vs. Keuka (Nov. 17).
Sophomore Nick Stuck tops the team and is second in the conference with an average of 4.5 assists per game while Romin Williams holds down the No. 4 position at 3.8 per contest. In addition, Stuck is third in the UAA in assist/turnover ratio (2.5).
WILLIAMS TIES SCHOOL MARK FOR THREE POINTERS -- AGAIN – Romin Williams came through with a scorching long-range shooting performance against East Texas Baptist which allowed him to tie the school's single-game mark for most treys in a game for the second time this season.
Williams knocked down a school-record tying eight-of-13 three-point attempts against the Tigers en route to finishing with a game-high 28 points. During the second half of play vs. ETBU, he converted five-of-six three-point opportunities. Earlier in the season, Williams drained eight from distance vs. Keuka College (Nov. 17), seven coming during the opening 20 minutes of play. He finished the Keuka outing with a career-high 32 points.
Williams is one of three players in school annals to hit eight three-pointers in a game, joining Alex Gulotta (vs. Guilford, Nov. 20, 2010) and Richard Somers (vs. LaGrange, Nov. 16, 2001) in that club.
Williams is averaging a conference-best 3.5 triples per game and has converted three or more from distance in five contests.
STRONG FROM THE STRIPE – Through the first 11 games of the season, Emory has been solid from the foul line, connecting at a 74.9 percent (155-of-207) clip, good for second place among UAA teams and 47th in D-III (through Jan. 1). Emory has converted 70 percent or higher of his foul shots in nine contests this year and has drained 74.2 percent (66-of-89) during its five-game winning streak.
Lawrence Rowley is No. 8 among UAA cagers with a showing of 79.4 percent (35-of-44) from the stripe while Matt Davet is 9th with an effort of 78.9 percent, sinking 30-of-38.
EMORY PICKED AS TEAM TO BEAT IN UAA – Emory was picked as the team to beat in the University Athletic Association in a preseason poll conducted by the league coaches. The Eagles picked up six of the eight first-place votes cast and recorded 48 points. The University of Rochester was tabbed for second, receiving the other two first-place ballots and totaling 42 points.
DID YOU KNOW -- Since the 2010-11 season, Emory has the No. 1 record among UAA teams in overall (171-56) play and the second-best mark in league action (80-32) .… Washington University has the conference's second-best overall ledger (163-58) and the top slate in conference play (83-29) … That Emory has at least one three-point field goal in its last 555 games -- The last time the Eagles failed to convert from beyond the arc came on Feb. 14, 1997, vs. Washington University (0-of-6) … Emory was won 49 of its last 50 games when allowing 69 or fewer points (2-0 in 2018-19, 11-0 in '17-18, 7-1 in '16-17, 13-0 in '15-16, 16-0 in '14-15) … Emory posts a 27-2 ledger in games since the 2016-17 season when it has converted 10 or more three-pointers in a contest (6-0 in '18-19, 10-0 in 2017-18).
NOTES – Matt Davet's game-high tying 11 rebounds in the East Texas Baptist game represented his second double-figure effort of the season … Romin Williams saw a 17-game three-point field goal streak (tying 13th-longest in school history) come to an end in the Oswego State game …. Career-wise, Williams has produced 10 or more points in 30 of 38 games and has tallied 20 or more points 12 times … Senior Gebereal Baitey posts 96 career steals, good for 20th place on the school's all-time ladder, and has recorded 28 contests with two or more thefts to his credit … On the offensive end of the floor, Baitey has five double-figure scoring games this season (31 in his career) … The Eagles have won 42 of their last 43 games at the Woodruff PE Center against non-league foes with the only blemish coming earlier this year against Randolph-Macon (Nov. 25) … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 106-6 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (7-0 in 2018-19, 16-1 in '17-18, 17-1 in '16-17, 12-3 in '15-16, 18-0 in '14-15) … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory stands 165-20 when leading at halftime (9-1 in 2018-19, 19-1, in '17-18, 13-0 in '16-17; 18-3 in 2015-16) … Emory is 100-12 (.892) over its last 112 home contests … The Eagles have recorded 100 or more points 50 times in program history and own a 45-5 won-lost record in those affairs … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory has 19 contests of 100 or more points and stands 18-1 in such games … The Eagles have outscored the opposition in 16 halves while being outpointed in six … Emory paces the UAA with an average of 7.7 steals per game and has turned in three contests with double-figure thefts including a season-high 15 vs. LaGrange (Dec. 5) … Matt Schner is third in the conference in steals average (1.7 spg) … Schner has two or more thefts in four games this year … The Eagles have scored 50 or more points in a half on seven occasions, and their 65 first-half points against Trinity represented the highest total by a Zimmerman-coached team … Emory enjoys a 206-134 edge in the points-off-turnovers category … Emory is averaging 45.4 points during the first half of play (35.4 for the opposition) and 46.2 in the second half (43.2 for opponents) … Emory has led by 10 or more points at halftime in its last five and in a total of seven contests this year … The Eagles are No. 1 in the UAA and 38th in the D-III ranks in scoring margin (+13.3).