A trio of Lees-McRae women's basketball players registered double figures while LMC extended its win streak to four games with an 82-69 win against North Greenville in Conference Carolinas action Saturday
afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bobcats (8-8, 5-2 CC) capped off a perfect home stand by trailing only 53 seconds in the final two games of the stretch while shooting an impressive 54.5% in the first half. The Crusaders (5-10, 1-6) found themselves in a 17-point hole and was unable to climb out after shooting a mediocre 53.8% from the free-throw line.
"I feel that the girls are really starting to focus and buy into what we are trying to do," said head coach Michele Williams. "We came out with a big lead and were able to do what we wanted to do on both ends of the floor."
Seniors Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) and Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) knocked down a pair of three's each to jump the start the Bobcat offense as part of a 28-11 run to start the game.
LMC's offense was nearly unstoppable, hitting 11 of its first 18 shots from the floor.
Freshman Niroska Perez (Asheville, N.C.) got in on the long-range fun with a three on consecutive possessions at the 12:50 mark.
Bobcat sophomore Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) dropped five of her game-high 15 points while LMC stretched its lead to 21, 48-27.
The Bobcats went 18-of-33 from the floor, including 7-for-12 from three-point range. LMC's 48-point first-half effort marked a season-high.
The Crusaders would cut into the lead following a Tierra Richberg jumper, 52-37, at the 16:56 mark.
NGU wouldn't back down while it went on a 16-7 run to shave the deficit to 11, 71-60 following another Richberg bucket.
Senior Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) responded with a fastbreak layup and a pair of free-throws to help the Bobcats seal their fourth straight win.
LMC has produced a four-game win streak in each of its last three seasons.
The Bobcats forced 18 turnovers and hit 10 more free throws (17-7) than NGU. Munson (15), De Souza (13) and Lewis (12) led the way offensively while Munson corralled eight boards.
North Greenville was led by Timisty Nelson, who finished with 13 points while Taylor Vinson chipped in with 12.
The Bobcats hit the road for the first time since Jan. 4 with a trip to battle Mount Olive in Mount Olive, N.C. on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Bobcats Stumble Down Stretch; Fall to North Greenville
The Lees-McRae men's basketball jumped out to an early 55-42 lead, but was unable to sustain it thanks to a hot-shooting North Greenville squad while NGU claimed a 105-95 victory in Conference Carolinas play Saturday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Crusaders (10-7, 5-2 CC) climbed out of a 16-point hole with 15 minutes remaining thanks to an outstanding effort from Phillip Brown (37 points, 17 rebounds) while winning their third consecutive game. The Bobcats (6-10, 1-5) dropped their fifth in a row despite another impressive game from freshman Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (25 points, 7 boards).
LMC sprinted out to a 31-23 lead after a Chad Hicks (Winston-Salem, N.C.) layup and Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) connected on a thunderous dunk at the 8:19 mark in part of a 7-0 LMC run.
A Chambers jumper and a pair of Chase Arnold (Kingsport, Tenn.) free-throws gave the Bobcats the 13-point advantage going into intermission.
LMC scored 17 points off of turnovers in the first 20 minutes while shooting a 46.8 clip.
Moore converted an and-one to stretch the LMC lead to 16, 70-54, with 15:05 remaining.
The Crusaders stormed back with authority after Keith Johnson capped off a 31-6 run with a layup at the 3:45 mark.
LMC made things interesting when it cut the lead to six, 101-95, after a Rishad Felton (Hendersonville, N.C.) three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining.
However, NGU drained four free-throws to seal the win.
Brown dominated by knocking down 14-of-21 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. NGU shot 61.3% in the second half and converted 23-of-26 free-throws.
Johnson finished with 22 points while Chris Dean chipped in with 18 and nine rebounds.
LMC struggled at the line (11-20) while Moore finished with 19 points. The Bobcats owned the offensive glass, 17-9.
Coach Steve Hardin's squad returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when it visits Mount Olive in Mount Olive, N.C.
Photo Courtesy: Layana De Souza, LMC Athletics