Bobcats grind out critical home win over King (Tenn.), 74-70

BANNER ELK, N.C. – Trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team mounted a rally and picked up a 74-70 victory over rival King University Wednesday night at Williams Gymnasium. The victory improves Lees-McRae's record to 6-13 overall and 3-7 in Conference Carolinas action.

Lees-McRae used a combination of low post play and free throws to take a lead into the halftime break Wednesday night. The Bobcats scored 18 of their 32 points in the paint and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the line as well. King, meanwhile, knocked down six three-pointers to keep the deficit to one possession at the break, 32-30.

King came out of the dressing room from halftime clicking offensively scoring 11 of the first 15 points in the second half. The Tornado would keep rolling until 7:24 to go in regulation when a Mike Salomon three-pointer made it 63-49 King. After that point, the Bobcats mounted their comeback with several players playing key roles. Wes Morgan made a couple key three-pointers to help the rally, including one with 13 seconds to go to lift Lees-McRae in front. Following a couple of key free throws from Quay Kimble, the Bobcats iced the game, 74-70.

Kimble ended up leading Lees-McRae in scoring Wednesday with 18 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 effort from the free throw line. Malik Wright added 11 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting night from the field, while Andrew Gardner and Morgan finished with 10 points each.

After four straight home games, Lees-McRae will head out on the road for its next game when it visits Mount Olive Saturday. UMO knocked off the Bobcats earlier this month in Banner Elk, 103-93. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Trojans is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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Bobcats down rival King (Tenn.) in overtime thriller

BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team used some late heroics from Brea Forbes and a solid overtime effort to defeat rival (King (Tenn.) 73-67 in overtime on Wednesday night (Jan. 16) at Williams Gymnasium in the annual Gold Out game.

Game Summary - Lees-McRae led 18-13 after the first quarter, which started off slow with the Bobcats up only 9-6 at the halfway point. A Meg Crawford jumper and a Markia Stacey three-pointer would extend Lees-McRae's lead to eight at the four-minute mark, before Desiree Bates and Forbes traded buckets to leave the teams separated by eight. King (Tenn.) would get back within six around the two-minute mark with a Madison Davis bucket, before Alexi Ammons would knock down a jumper with 1:25 to play in the quarter to re-gain the eight-point lead. An old-fashioned three-point play from Che' Davis would represent the final score of the opening frame.

King (Tenn.) would edge Lees-McRae 11-10 in the second quarter, but the Bobcats would take a four-point lead to the half. The Tornado would get back within one point in the first 41 seconds, before the teams would go almost two minutes with no points. A Hope Ramsey triple and a Crawford bucket would get the Bobcat lead back to six, before Bates traded a three-pointer with a layup from Stacey to leave the home team up five approaching the halfway point of the quarter. As the five-minute mark came and went, Ramsey knocked down another three-pointer to extend the lead back to eight for Lees-McRae. King (Tenn.) would score the final four points of the half over the final four minutes to send the teams to the locker room.

Lees-McRae would win the third quarter 17-13 to add to their halftime lead. The Tornado scored the first four points of the second half to tie the game at 28, before a Forbes three-pointer and two Bates free throws would leave Lees-McRae up by just one two and a half minutes in. Lees-McRae would score on its next few possessions to build a six-point lead with under five minutes to play in the quarter, before Bates and Stacey would trade triples to keep the teams separated by six. The two teams each sunk free throws before a Crawford jumper with nine seconds left served as the final bucket of the frame.

Lees-McRae's lead would fluctuate to open the fourth quarter, with the teams staying separated by single digits in the first three minutes. Stacey knocked down a long ball to extend the lead into double-digits, before the Tornado would fight back into single digits over the 36 seconds. As the halfway point of the frame came and went, King (Tenn.) would get within two possessions on a three-pointer from Kristen Cupples. Following a jumper from Destiny Johnson, King (Tenn.) would score on its next two possessions to cut the Bobcat lead to just three points. With under two minutes to play, King (Tenn.) would take a three-point lead with scores on consecutive possessions. The Bobcats had one last gasp, as Stacey found Forbes at the top of the key open with the seconds ticking away. Forbes squared up a three-pointer that fell with 0.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime and send the crowd of gold into a frenzy.

Lees-McRae would hold King (Tenn.) to just five points in the overtime frame to get the thrilling win. The two teams traded three-pointers in the first minute and a half, before Lees-McRae was able to silence the Tornado scoring attack and mount a six-point lead into the final minute. The Bobcats were able to ice the game at the charity stripe to secure the home court victory.

Stats Rundown - Lees-McRae shot 40.7 percent (24-59) from the field, 50.0 percent (10-20) from long range and 65.2 percent (15-23) from the charity stripe. Stacey led the Bobcats with 18 points on the night, while Forbes notched her sixth straight double-figure scoring effort with 17. Johnson also contributed 15, while Crawford added 13. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass 48-43, with nine offensive rebounds and 38 defensive rebounds. Lakitia Basnight led the rebounding effort for Lees-McRae with 10 on the night. Stacey also dished out a game-high six assists in the victory.

Up Next - The Bobcats (8-9, 5-5 Conference Carolinas) are back in action on Saturday (Jan. 19) when they travel to the University of Mount Olive. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.

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