Bobcats Bounce Belmont Abbey On Senior Day



Lees-McRae senior DeAndre Tillman opened up Senior Day with a thunderous dunk to set the tone early while the LMC offense shot an impressive 54.7% from the floor in a 75-72 win against Belmont

Abbey in Conference Carolinas action Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.



The Bobcats (7-19, 2-13 CC) sent their two seniors (Tillman and Darius Smith) out in style while junior Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) dropped 21 points to snap a lengthy losing skid. The Crusaders (10-15, 6-9) took the loss despite a 28-point, 15-rebound performance from Darryl Durham.


Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) and Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) took control early while scoring 11 of LMC's first 18 points while the Bobcats held an 18-12 advantage.


Moore knocked down one of his team-high four three-pointers to push the Bobcat lead to nine, 21-12. However, the Crusaders responded 9-1 run, capped off by a Justin Kuhlman three to cut the deficit to one, 22-21.


Kuhlman sank another tripled to give BAC a slim 29-28 advantage. LMC's offense ripped off an 11-0 run capped off by a Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.) steal and three-point play.


The freshman would connect for three of his 15 points with 38 seconds remaining in the first half to give LMC a 42-33 lead into the half.


The Bobcats shot 53.3% from the floor while knocking down five three-pointers.


LMC hit its largest lead (14) following a pair of Smith buckets with 14:12 remaining.


The Crusaders answered with a 16-2 run while Durham and Ryan Conrad added four points each.


Durham got a layup to roll in while the Bobcats held a 65-64 advantage with 4:02 on the clock.


The freshmen duo of Chambers and Donte Falls (Shelby, N.C.) pushed the LMC lead back to six, 70-64.


Smith would hit the backend on a pair of free-throws while the Bobcat defense clamped down and denied BAC on a pair of three-point game-tying opportunities in the waning seconds.


Moore paced the team in points while Smith had 16 in his Bobcat home finale while dishing out seven assists. LMC's defense held the Crusaders to 29.2% from the three-point range.


Kuhlman added 15 points for BAC while Durham led the squad in all other offensive categories.


The Bobcats wrap up their 2013-14 campaign with a trip to Gaffney, S.C. to battle Limestone Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.



Belmont Abbey Plays Spoiler on Senior Day



The Lees-McRae women's basketball team saw a quartet of players recorded double figures, but Belmont Abbey had three score 16 points or more while defeating LMC 75-68 in Conference Carolinas action Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.


The Crusaders (20-7, 14-3 CC) reached the 20-win plateau thanks to efficient free-throw shooting while holding LMC to 36.9% from the floor. The Bobcats (12-14, 9-8) suffered only their second loss at home this season while having a shaky performance from the charity stripe (12-of-22).


Senior Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) splashed a jumper to propel the Bobcats into the lead, 14-8.


BAC responded with a 7-0 run over the next two minutes before an Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) three-pointer gave LMC the lead back, 17-15.


The Crusaders responded with an 11-3 run while Kelsey Long knocked down three consecutive buckets, scoring seven of her game-high 17 points to put the visitors up, 26-20.


Belmont Abbey's McKenzie Owen converted a traditional three-point play at the 1:44 mark, 31-24, but Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) chimed in with a bucket each to shave the deficit to three.


However, Caitlyn Ranson drained a three with 21 ticks left in the first half, 34-28.


The Crusaders shot a solid 48.1% from the floor in the opening half.


Belmont Abbey stretched the lead to 14, 51-37, following a 17-9 run in the first 4:42 while Long connected on a pair of triples.


Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) corralled a rebound and scored on the putback to shrink the deficit to eight, 55-47.


The Crusader offense sparked another run, 10-3, after Morgan Midkiff knocked down four consecutive free-throws.


The Bobcats were resilient and responded with a 7-0 run of their own following a trey from senior Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).


Midkiff delivered a crucial blow with a deep three at the 2:15 mark to push the lead back to 12. Lewis would get fouled with seven seconds remaining and swish all three free-throws, but LMC was unable to complete the comeback.


Lewis and Belcher had 13 points each while Patterson and De Souza had 11 and 10, respectively. Sophomore Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) led both squads with 12 rebounds.


Midkiff and Long dropped 17 points apiece while Tajanna Brown led the team with nine rebounds.


LMC concludes its regular season with a trip to Gaffney, S.C. Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to battle Limestone. The Bobcats are fighting for playoff seeding and could finish between fourth and sixth.



Men's Volleyball Falls at NJIT, 3-1



Lees-McRae sophomore Brady Markle delivered a match-high 20 kills, but LMC struggled offensively in a 25-21, 19-25, 17-25, 17-25 loss at NJIT in nonconference action at the Fleisher Center in Newark, N.J.


The Highlanders (4-5) had four players recorded double digit kills while the offense hit an efficient .361. The Bobcats (9-5) saw their four-match win streak snapped while after hitting below .100 in the final three sets.


Markle (York, Pa.) started the match with consecutive kills while LMC led wire-to-wire in the opening set.


Freshman John Sobel (Holbrook, N.Y.) duplicated his teammates success with back-to-back kills to give the Bobcats an early 9-4 lead.


The Highlanders' TJ Jurko connected on a kill to cut the deficit to two, 14-12, but Markle blasted home a pair of kills while LMC led by at least two the rest of the set.


NJIT made it interesting following a service error, 21-19. However, Markle carried the offense with four more kills while the Bobcats hit at a .433 clip in the first set.


The second set proved to be a see-saw battle while Raphael Anthony used three block assists to put NJIT up, 15-14.


The Highlanders used a 6-2 run to gain a five-point lead, 21-16.


Senior Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) collected one of his three kills to make it 22-18, but NJIT held strong to win the second. LMC struggled while hitting .040 and NJIT hit .429 in the set.


Sobel and Markle connected on consecutive kills to tie the third at 10. The Highlanders responded with a 9-4 run following a pair of Jabbary Goodridge kills.


Freshman Mark Shayka (Hamilton, Va.) chimed in with a kill, but LMC trailed 22-17. NJIT wrapped the set up of with a block from Ryan Thomas and Luke Robbe.


Kajetan Borecki delivered one of his team-high 13 kills to give NJIT a 9-8 advantage in the decisive set.


Once again, the Highlanders offense ripped off a 10-5 run despite a Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Markle kill.


A Cothron kill made it 19-14, but that would be as close as LMC would get while NJIT grabbed the final set, 25-17.


Borecki paced the team in kill while Goodridge (11), Thomas (11) and Jurko (10) recorded double figures. Zak Robben dished out 35 assists.


Efrian Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) led LMC with 12 digs while Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) paved the way with 39 assists.


The Bobcats return to action Tuesday in Belmont, N.C. when they battle Belmont Abbey at 7 p.m. LMC swept the Crusaders Feb. 4.


L-R Outlasts Men's Tennis, 6-3



Lees-McRae junior Scott Alford and freshman Garret Lakey collected wins in singles and double play, but LMC men's tennis team stumbled at Lenoir-Rhyne, 6-3, in nonconference action Saturday afternoon at Hickory High School in Hickory, N.C.


The Bears (2-3) grabbed wins at No. 1-4 singles play while winning a tough No. 2 doubles decision. The Bobcats (2-4) continued to see strong play from their No. 5 & No. 6 positions.


LMC junior Hang Lak Choi (Newton, N.C.) grabbed the first set, 6-4, before the Bears' John Reid rallied to win the second by the same score. Reid bested Choi 10-5 in the deciding set.


Lakey (North Wilkesboro, N.C.) notched his second consecutive victory at No. 5 singles while he downed Matthew Ledford despite being down a set, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.


Alford (Hillsborough, N.C.) crawled out of a set deficit when he rebounded from a 6-0 loss to win the next two, 6-2 and 14-12.


Lakey and Alford notched a win at No. 3 doubles against Ledford and Reid, 8-5.


LMC jumps into conference play when it travels to Due West, S.C. to battle Erskine Sat. March 1 at 1 p.m.



Women's Tennis Downed at Lenoir-Rhyne, 9-0



The Lees-McRae women's tennis dropped a 9-0 decision in nonconference action Saturday afternoon at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, N.C.


The Bears (4-2) won eight of the matches in straight sets. The Bobcats (1-5) saw impressive play from Hilary Lutz (Shelby, N.C.) at No. 2 singles.


Lutz rallied from a set down to force the tiebreaker after Nateesha Hurtt won the opener, 6-3. Lutz took the middle set 7-6, but fell in the deciding one, 10-7.


Freshman Caroline Greene (Summerville, N.C.) hung tough at No. 3 singles despite falling 6-2, 6-3 to Lela Thompson.


All three doubles contests were decided by an 8-4 margin.


LMC returns to action Sat. March 1 when it opens Conference Carolinas play at Erskine in Due West, S.C. at 1 p.m.



Photo Courtesy: DeAndre Tillman, LMC Athletics