BANNER ELK, NC--The Lees-McRae Bobcats basketball team opened their Conference Carolinas schedule at home Tuesday evening, hosting Belmont Abbey College at Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats fell to 0-3 (0-1 Conference Carolinas) as the Crusaders earned their first win of the year, 68-63, and improved to 1-2 (1-0 Conference Carolinas).
From the opening whistle the teams battled hard on each
possession, each looking for their first win of the young season.
In the first it was the Crusaders who managed to pull away,
building their lead up to 11 points on two occasions, however the
Bobcats would respond by closing the gap to five. At the half, the
Bobcats would find themselves trailing 38-31.
The Bobcats would open the second half by outscoring Abbey 15-11 to gain the lead for the first time since early in the first half. The lead would be short lived, as the Crusaders responded with a 7-0 run to take a six-point lead at 54-48 with 12:16 left. The Abbey held onto the advantage and built it to as high as seven points at 59-52 with 7:23 remaining, however the Bobcats answered with a 9-0 run to re-take the lead at 61-59 with just over three minutes to play. Unfortunately, the Crusader defense would take things into their own hands, holding the Bobcats off of the board and slowly chipping their way to the win after regaining the lead and making good on their free throw attempts late in the game.
"We did a great job of battling back and taking the lead, but we made some poor decisions and didn't make the plays we needed to at the end and it cost us the game," stated Head Coach Scott Polsgrove. "I am proud of the effort and the way we continued to battle throughout the game."
The Crusaders Richard Barbee led his team with a game high 20 points while teammate Jonathan Jackson picked up 19. Chad Patus pulled down a game high 11 rebounds for the Abbey.
The Bobcats Raysean Hairston (Elizabethtown, NC) established a new career high, sharing the game high with 20 points on the night while pulling down a team high eight rebounds. Aaron Woodacre (Piney Flats, TN) was the only other Bobcat in double digits, picking up ten points.
The Bobcats will be back in action next Tuesday, hosting non-conference foe Lincoln Memorial at Williams Gymnasium. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
PICTURED TOP LEFT: Raysean Hairston
BOTTOM UPPER: Aaron Woodacre
BOTTOM LOWER: Raysean Hairston