BANNER ELK, NC--The defending NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Champion Barton College Bulldogs paid a visit to Williams Gymnasium Saturday afternoon to face the Lees-McRae College Bobcats, leaving with a 102-72 victory. The Bulldogs improve to 11-4 (7-1 Conference Carolinas), while the Bobcats fall to 2-12 (1-7).
Starting four true freshmen and facing the defending national champions, the Bobcats were in tough from the opening tip off. The visitors jumped out to an early 11-4 lead, only to see the Bobcats draw to within three, 19-16 by the midway point of the first. Unfortunately the three point margin would be the closest the Bobcats would get as the Bulldogs turned things up with a 15-2 run to take firm control of the game with a commanding 32-18 lead and cruising to halftime with a 54-33 lead.
The Bulldogs would continue their offensive onslaught in the second half, their depth and experience shutting down the Bobcats while also maintaining their torrid scoring pace. When all was said and done the defending champions escaped with a thirty point victory to move into a tie for first place in Conference Carolinas.
Greg Mammel (San Antonio, TX) led the Bulldogs with a game high 24 points while Bobby Buffaloe (Fuquay-Varina, NC) added 21. Sam Pounds (Bahama, NC) and LJ Dunn (Raleigh, NC) also scored in double figures for the visitors, chipping in 13 and 12 respectively while Brian Leggett (Alexandria, VA) pulled down a game high ten rebounds.
Raysean Hairston (Elizabethtown, NC) paced the Bobcats with a team high 14 points while senior Mario McClunie (Knoxville, TN) added ten.
Up next, the Bobcats will hit the road for a pair of Conference Carolinas games next week at Limestone and Coker on Thursday and Saturday respectively.
PICTURED TOP and BOTTOM RIGHT: Raysean Hairston
PICTURED BOTTOM LEFT: Mario McClunie