No. 7 Emory Men's Basketball Hosts NYU & Brandeis

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GAME FACTS – The Emory University men's basketball team will close out the regular-season portion of its home schedule this weekend when it tackles New York University on Friday (Feb. 16) followed by a Sunday date against Brandeis. Sunday's match-up against Brandeis will be Senior Day, with the program recognizing the contributions of Christopher Avant, Donald Avant, Adam Gigax and Whit Rapp in a pre-game ceremony.

The Woodruff PE Center on the Emory campus will serve as the venue for the 63rd meeting between the Eagles and NYU, with that contest slated for an 8:00 pm tip.  On Sunday, the Woodpec will be the setting for the 62nd battle between Emory and Brandeis, with tip slated for noon.

THE COACHES – Jason Zimmerman (Davidson, 1994) is in his 11th 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 189-96.   In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 108-27 ledger and an 81-69 mark in road/neutral settings.  

He has guided Emory to nine straight winning seasons and five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). The Eagles are the lone D-III school to have won at least one NCAA contest in each of the past five years.  

After going 17-33 his first two years at Emory, Zimmerman has compiled a won-lost slate of 172-63 (.732) since the 2009-10 season.

Joe Nesci (Brooklyn College, '79) is in his 30th season at the helm of the NYU program.  During his stint with the Violets he has compiled a school and career record of 512-267. 

In his 15th campaign calling the shots for Brandeis is Brian Meehan (Clark University, '86).  Heading into a Friday road contest vs. Rochester, Meehan has registered a school record of 212-174.  In 22 seasons as a head coach, which includes a seven-year run at Salem State, Meehan claims a career slate of 372-213.

2017-18 RECORDS – Emory, ranked No. 7 in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, enters the NYU contest with an overall record of 18-4, including a 9-2 slate in the UAA that places it second.  The Eagles are coming off a pair of close wins on the road over the weekend, edging Carnegie Mellon, 82-80, on Friday before closing out the weekend with a 75-72 decision over Case Western Reserve.

Senior Adam Gigax pumped in a season-high 27 points in the win over CMU, his fifth performance of 20 or more points this season, sinking eight-of-15 field goal attempts, including five-of-eight from beyond the arc, while junior Gebereal Baitey contributed 16 points. Freshman Romin Williams totaled a game-high tying 20 points vs. Case Western, draining six field goals in 12 attempts, including three triples in five opportunities. Senior Whit Rapp registered a total of 17 assists with just two turnovers over the weekend and added 10 points against CWRU.

Emory is 10-1 at home and 8-3 in road/neutral contests.

NYU comes to Atlanta with an overall slate of 10-11, 3-8 in the UAA.  The Violets have lost their last three games including last weekend's home outcomes to the University of Chicago (75-66) and No. 2 Washington University (99-72). NYU is 4-4 in road contests.

Brandeis ventures to Rochester for a Friday bout looking to improve upon its overall record of 6-16. The Judges split home games last weekend, losing to Wash U, 87-75, before upending Chicago, 70-66. Heading into the weekend, BU stands 2-10 in road/neutral affairs and is 4-6 at home.

SERIES RECORDS –  In a series that began in December of 1986, NYU holds an all-time record of 36-26 against Emory.  The Eagles emerged victorious in the first match-up of this year (Jan. 19), topping the Violets by a 73-68 in NYC. Adam Gigax led the Emory scoring effort with 21 points, 13 coming in the second half, while Whit Rapp picked off seven rebounds.

Emory posts a 32-29 advantage in the all-time series against Brandeis that saw the first game played in January of 1988. The Eagles have won three of the last four contests against the Judges including this year's 90-57 decision in Waltham, Mass., back on Jan. 21.  Emory shot 53.8 percent from the floor in that outing, its second-highest mark of the year, and was paced in scoring by senior Christopher Avant with 17 points.  Emory stands 20-10 against Brandeis in games played on its home floor and has won the last eight meeting played at the Woodruff PE Center.

RAPP CONTINUES MARCH ON EMORY CAREER ASSISTS LIST – Whit Rapp's 17-assists weekend boosted his career total to 573.  The holder of the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time assists chart, Rapp moved closer to Austin Claunch's (2008-12) No. 1 mark of 580.  Rapp's 573 assists makes him Division III's No. 3 active career leader, behind Ohio Wesleyan's Nate Axelrod's total of 624 and Jack Daly of Middlebury (579).
 
Rapp's 10 assists vs. Brandeis on Jan. 21 represented his second game this year and 17th of his career with double figures. 

Rapp stands in the No. 2 spot on Emory's all-time chart with a 5.79 per-game average, with that effort placing him as D-III's No. 4 active career leader.   In his 16 appearances this year, Rapp is averaging 6.9 assists, with that mark fourth on the school's all-time seasonal ladder.  His 111 total assists rank 59th among D-III players this year and slot him 13th on the Eagles' seasonal chart.

EMORY RESERVES PRODUCING – Emory continued to receive productive offensive play from its bench this past weekend with the Eagle reserves registering a 45-43 scoring advantage over the two games.  So far this year, Emory subs have produced a total of 609 points (27.7 ppg) vs. 415 points (18.9 ppg) for the opposition.

Emory's reserves saw a seven-game streak of outscoring the opposition subs come to an end in the Carnegie Mellon contest when the Tartans registered a 19-14 edge.  However, Emory posted a 31-24 margin in the Case Western encounter. Over the last nine outings, Eagle subs have posted a 265-137 scoring advantage.

Heading into Friday's affair vs. NYU, the Eagles have seen their bench players tally 30 or more points on 10 occasions.  On Jan. 21, Emory's bench registered a season-high 49 points in a 90-57 win over Brandeis. Back on Nov. 21, the Emory reserves chalked up 46 points in a 109-103 win over Berry College.

GIGAX CLIMBING EMORY CAREER LISTS – Adam Gigax heads into the NYU contest in 9th place on the school's all-time scoring chart with 1,181 points. He is just two points from tying David Gaynes (1986-90) for the No. 8 spot and 87 points from reaching Alex Greven's (2009-13) seventh-place mark of 1,268 points.

In the three-point field goals department, Gigax has knocked down a total of 201 triples during his Emory career.   Second on the Eagles' all-time list in treys, Gigax is aiming for the school's No. 1 mark of 227 held by Robert Spivey (2000-04).   In addition, Gigax's career effort of 38.8 percent (201-518) from beyond the arc is ninth on the Emory all-time chart.

Finally, Gigax ranks eighth on the program's all-time list with 422 field goals.

EMORY OFFENSE PUTTING UP POINTS – The Eagles are averaging 82.0 points per game in overall play, good for the No. 2 position among UAA squads and 82nd nationally (through Feb. 11).   The Eagles have totaled 80 or more points in 14 of 22 contests and have registered five outings with 90 or more points. 

The Eagles are tossing in 76.9 points over their 11 UAA outings, good for second in the loop behind Wash U's 89.6 points.  In Emory's 11 home contests, it is averaging 80.7 points and 83.4 in 11 road/neutral outings.

WILLIAMS MAKES IMPACT – After seeing a five-game double-figure scoring streak end in the Carnegie Mellon game, Romin Williams bounced back with a game-high tying 20 points in the decision over Case Western Reserve. Williams has totaled 10 or more points in 17 of his 21 appearances this season.

The team's leading scorer on eight occasions, Williams paces the Emory squad and is fourth among UAA players in overall scoring average with a 15.6 points-per-game average.  He has produced 20 or more points on five occasions including a season-high 31 points vs. Chicago (Jan. 26) that ranks as the high-water mark by an Emory player this year.  In league action, he is scoring at a 13.7 per-game clip, good for the No. 7 spot in the conference chart.  

He is second on the Emory list with 49 three-point field goals and his 39.8 effort (49-123) from beyond the arc slots him in the No. 8 position on the conference ladder. Other UAA overall  statistical categories that he finds himself ranked prominently include field goal percentage (7th, .431), free throw percentage (6th, .744 (61-82), assists (11th, 2.8 apg), three-point field goals per game (t-4th, 2.3) and steals (12th, 1.2 spg).  He leads all UAA freshmen with five statistical top-10 rankings.

EMORY SOLID AT THE STRIPE – After being awarded a total of 18 free throws in the previous weekend at Chicago and Washington University, the Eagles nearly doubled that mark, going to the stripe for 34 attempts and sinking 27 for a solid effort of 79.4 percent. After a 14-of-18 performance in the Carnegie Mellon game, Emory was successful on 13-of-16 from the foul line vs. Case Western, an 81.3 success rate.

Heading into the new week, Emory still holds down the No. 1 spot in the UAA with a 78.1 percent (276-354) showing in free throw shooting, ranking eighth among all D-III programs (through Feb. 11). The Eagles have been successful on 75 percent or better of their free throw opportunities in a total of 15 games.  In their 11 home dates, the Eagles are connecting at a 78.2 clip (183-234) from the stripe. In 11 contests away from the Woodruff PE Center, Emory posts a 77.9 percent (120-154) mark at the line.

Through 11 league contests, Emory is shooting a UAA-best 80 percent (136-170) from the foul line.

CHRIS AVANT TOP EMORY REBOUNDER – Christopher Avant pulled down a team-high eight rebounds in last Friday's Carnegie Mellon game, the 13th time this year he ranked as the squad's top performer on the glass.  Heading into the weekend, his 7.2 rebounds-per-game average ranks first on the team and seventh on the UAA ladder.

Avant has grabbed 10 or more boards in six games and is averaging 2.8 rebounds per outing on the offensive end of the floor, the fifth-best mark in the UAA.  In conference action, he is 12th on the UAA ladder in rebounding (5.9 rpg).

Career-wise, he has 375 rebounds to his credit and is six shy of reaching the program's Top 20 list. He has recorded a total of 11 double-figure rebounding contests during his career.

DID YOU KNOW?
 –  That Romin Williams' 328 point ranks as the fourth-highest total by an Emory freshman … Tim Garrett holds the school's freshman scoring mark with 374 points (1986-87) while Robert Spivey (334 pts, '00-01) and Jake Davis (332 pts, '10-11) stand second and third, respectively … That Whit Rapp is 10th on the Eagles' all-time list with 133 steals … That Emory has seen five or more players score in double figures in six games this year, surpassing last season's total of four … That the Eagles went 6-0 at home during the non-conference this season and have won their last 34 non-league contests dating from the early stages of the 2012-13 campaign (included in the streak are 6 NCAA Tourney wins) … Emory has won 23 of its last 25 home games …
That Christopher Avant currently holds down the No. 2 spot on the Eagles' all-time field goal percentage list, sinking 55.6 percent (236-424) of his attempts … That since the 2010-11 season, Emory has the No. 1 record among UAA teams in overall (157-53) play and the second-best mark in league action (77-32) .… Washington University has the conference's second-best overall ledger (154-52) and the top slate in conference play (81-28) … That Emory has at least one three-point field goal in its last 539 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 45 of its last 46 games when allowing 69 or fewer points (9-0 in '17-18, 7-1 in '16-17, 13-0 in '15-16, 16-0 in '14-15) … That Christopher Avant's  career-high 17 rebounds against Covenant tied the ninth-highest individual game total in school history and tied him with Will Trawick (vs. LaGrange, Dec. 1, 2013) for the most rebounds by a Zimmerman-coached player … That the team's 18-4 record ties the 2010-11 and 2011-12 squads for the second-best 22-game slate in school history – the 1989-90 team holds the distinction for the best 22-game record in program history at 20-2.

NOTES – Emory has recorded 210 three-point field goals this year, the 8th-highest seasonal team mark in history … The Eagles sank 10 triples against both Carnegie Mellon and Case Western last weekend, raising this season's record to 10-0 when finishing with double digits in that category …. Adam Gigax's season-high 27 points vs. Carnegie Mellon was his fifth performance of 20 or more points this year and 23rd of his career … Whit Rapp is first among UAA players in both overall (6.9 apg) and conference (6.4 apg) assists average ... Adam Gigax is second on the team and fifth in the league in overall scoring average (15.1 ppg) … Gigax has converted two or more triples in 16 of his 21 appearances and has been successful on 40.8 percent (64-157) of his three-point attempts, good for the No.1 position on the UAA ladder … Gigax has 64 three-pointers this year, good eighth place on the Eagles' seasonal chart … Gigax is the UAA's No. 6 scorer in conference play (13.8 ppg) … In Emory's 11 home contests, Gigax is averaging 15.8 points and has converted 46.8 percent (37-79) from distance, while tossing in 14.3 points and shooting and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc (27-78) in 10 road/neutral affairs (team has played 11 road/neutral games) … Emory has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in five games (4-1) this season while the opposition has turned in six (3-3) outings of 50 percent or higher … Gebereal Baitey recorded 16 points against Carnegie Mellon (tying his second-highest point total of the campaign), which represented his 14th double-figure effort of the season … A starter in all 22 games, Baitey is third on the team in minutes (29.5 mpg) and his 10.7 points-per-game scoring average in overall play places him 19th on the league ladder … Baitey claims eight games of two or more steals this year and 20 in his career, and his 1.5 steals-per-game average is second in the conference … Chris Avant is third on the team and 15th in the UAA in overall scoring average (11.7 ppg) …A double-figure scorer in 14 games, he is shooting 53.8 percent (99-184) from the floor, good for fifth place on the conference chart … He has been successful on 50 percent or better of his floor attempts in 16 contests … Emory has eight games with 10 or more thefts this year and paces the UAA in that category (8.0 spg) … In its 18 wins, Emory is shooting 38.5 percent (180-468) from three-point range compared to 27.8 percent (30-108) in its four losses … Emory has attempted more free throws than the opposition in nine games (9-0) … Emory has outrebounded 11 opponents and has been outboarded on eight occasions (three games are tied) … The Eagles have led by 10 or more points heading into halftime on six occasions this year … Emory is averaging 80.7 points in its 11 home contests and 83.4 points in 11 road/neutral outings … The Eagles are averaging 39.5 points during the first half of play and 42.6 points over the final 20 minutes …  Freshman Matt Davet has registered eight double-figure scoring contests and has turned in seven performances of two or more three-point field goals … Opponents are scoring at a 34.8 points-per-game clip in the first half and 39.7 points in the second half … The Eagles are 48-6 in their last 54 games when making 10 or more three-point field goals in a game (10-0 in '17-18) … Junior Beau Bommarito  has nine double-figure scoring performances this season and has three-point field goals to his credit in a total of 16 contests … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 95-6 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (12-1 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 152-19 when leading at halftime (15-1, in '17-18, 13-0 in '16-17; 18-3 in 2015-16) … Emory is 90-11 (.891) over its last 101 home contests … The Eagles have recorded 100 or more points 48 times in program history and own a 43-5 won-lost record in those affairs … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory has 17 contests of 100 or more points and stands 16-1 in such games.