February 4, 2008

Abbey Uses Last Minute Heroics to Beat Bobcats

BELMONT, NC-- Belmont Abbey freshman guard Richard Barbee broke a 61-61 tie with a 15 foot jumper with 19 seconds left, and senior forward Ric Marczenko sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left as the Crusaders held on to defeat Lees-McRae 65-61 in Conference Carolinas action Monday evening at the Wheeler Center. The Abbey improves to 12-9 overall and 10-4 in Conference Carolinas, while Lees-McRae slips to 4-16 overall and 4-10 in Conference Carolinas.

After the Bobcats tied the game at 61 on a Jesse Hoots (Yadkinville, NC) three-pointer with 45 seconds left, Belmont Abbey called a timeout with 40 seconds left and ran the clock down, where Barbee drained a jumper at the free throw line to give the Crusaders the lead for good. After a Bobcats timeout, Hoots drove to the basket, and with four seconds left, released a layup that fell off the side of the rim, where Marczenko cradled his fourth and final rebound of the night, and was promptly fouled by Raysean Hairston (Elizabathtown, NC). Marczenko sank both free throws to seal the win.

The Abbey shot 38.6 percent (22-57) from the field as junior guard Jonathan Jackson led all scorers with 22 points on 7-17 shooting from the floor. Marczenko added 14 on 6-13 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Barbee finished with 12 points and six rebounds, and sophomore forward Chad Patus notched a double double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, 13 on the defensive glass. Guard Deonte Murphy finsihed with four assists and five steals.

Lees-McRae was led Hairston's 13 points, while Nick DeSchepper (Fishers, IN) and Aaron Willey (Kingsport, TN) both finished with 10 points as the Bobcats shot 41.4 percent (24-58) from the field.

A youthful squad featuring ten freshman, Head Coach Scott Polsgrove seems to be guiding his team in the right direction. In their last five games, the Bobcats have gone 2-3, losing each by an average of 3.33 points. After twenty games, while their overall season record may not show it, Polsgrove's freshman laden team appears to be adjusting to the collegiate game quite nicely as of late.

The Bobcats will return to action Thursday evening taking on Queens University of Charlotte on the road. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.

BOX SCORE

PICTURED: Rayseasn Hairston