The Saints (21-5, 16-2 CC) earned the Conference Carolinas regular season title while putting four players in double figures. The Bobcats (12-15, 9-9 CC) will either be the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Their seeding will be based off the results of Pfeiffer and Erskine on Thursday.
LMC held its only lead of the game following consecutive buckets from Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) and Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.), 5-2.
The Saints began to pull away following five consecutive points from Amber Wright, 21-12, with 8:54 remaining.
Limestone's Jasmine Kearse drained one of her three three's to cap off a 9-2 run while LC stretched the lead to 17, 33-16.
Sophomore Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) chipped in with four points to cut the deficit to 14, but Celestra Warren splashed a triple with five ticks on the clock to give the home squad a 41-24 lead at the intermission.
LMC was held to 34.6% from the floor while LC knocked down 45.7% of its shots.
Junior Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) knocked down four free-throws to complete a 7-2 LMC run.
The Saints responded with a 12-2 run over the next 4:37 to see the lead balloon to 22, 55-33.
LMC was unable to get inside of 20 despite a long three from senior Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) at the 5:34 mark.
Natalija Cakarevic (Belgrade, Serbia) made the most of her last regular season game as a Bobcat by draining five free throws in the second half.
Kearse paced both teams with 19 points while Alicia Brookins recorded a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds). LC shot 46.9% from the floor.
Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) led LMC with 13 points while Truesdale had 10 and nine rebounds. The Bobcats went 20-for-27 from the charity stripe.
LMC will have to wait until Thursday evening to figure out where it will have its Conference Carolinas Quarterfinals game. If Erskine defeats Pfeiffer, LMC will travel to King. If Pfeiffer defeats Erskine, LMC will travel to Mount Olive. The quarterfinal game will take place Saturday.
Saints Late Run Dooms Bobcats
Lees-McRae freshman Mike Chambers poured in a game-high 25 points in an entertaining game that saw 24 lead changes against Limestone, but LMC fell victim to a late run and dropped its season finale, 87-78, in Conference Carolinas action Tuesday night at the Timken Center in Gaffney, S.C.
The Saints (18-8, 10-6 CC) had the hot hand while knocking down 57.1% of their shots in the first half and PJ Foster enjoyed a 22-point performance. The Bobcats (7-20, 2-14) controlled the ball effectively while committing a season-low six turnovers.
The first half was tightly contested while a Darius Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) knocked down a jumper to knot it at 13, for the third of 10 ties in the opening 20 minutes.
Senior Darius Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) connected on four free-throws to give the Bobcats a slim three-point lead, 23-20. Junior Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) followed suit with a pair of his own to give LMC its largest lead of the game.
Raul Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.) completed a traditional three-point play at the 1:36 mark. LC's Asaad Woods rolled in a layup with 54 seconds remaining to tie it at 42.
The Bobcats splashed six shots from long distance, but the Saints held a 12-6 advantage from the charity stripe.
The final 20 minutes duplicated the first while neither team could retain a comfortable lead. Freshman Donte Falls (Shelby, N.C.) corralled a pass from Tutton to put the Bobcats up four, 61-57.
Moore rattled the rim with a thunderous dunk to push the lead to five, 76-71.
Limestone responded and used a raucous crowd to rip off a 16-2 run to end the game.
LC's Shaq Dance chimed in with eight of his 20 points during the spurt.
LMC connected on eight three-pointers while Moore and Smith had 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The Saints' Josh Odem grabbed nine rebounds while dropping 15 points.
The Bobcats saw their win total improve from three to seven from last season while Smith and DeAndre Tillman concluded their Bobcat careers.
Photo Courtesy: Layana De Souza, LMC Athletics