BANNER ELK, NC--The Lees-McRae Bobcats snapped a five game losing streak Wednesday evening, defeating Limestone College 73-57 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action at Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats improve to 5-20 (4-14 Conference Carolinas) while the Saints fall to 7-16 (4-13).
After exchanging three pointers to open the scoring, the visitors would take their second and last lead of the game 5-3 with a pair of free throws made by Andrae Franklin. The Bobcats would respond a 12-5 run to grab their first lead of the game and never look back. The Bobcats would increase their lead to as much as 13 and take a twelve point advantage into halftime, 36-24.
The second half saw the Saints come marching back, closing the twelve point deficit to one, 40-39, with an even thirteen minutes left on the clock. Once again the Bobcats would regain the momentum with a 6-0 run to increase their lead to a more comfortable seven points. With 7:14 to play, the Bobcats pushed their seven point lead back to twelve with firm control of the Bobcats' Senior Night contest. The Bobcats continued to push until the final buzzer increasing their lead to as much as 17 before settling on the 16 point final, 73-57.
"We played a great first half tonight and gained a very nice lead heading into halftime," commented Head Coach Scott Polsgrove. "With them battling back to within one, I was very proud of the way our team responded to regain control, especially on the defensive side of the ball; we made some great plays down there. It was a great game and a great way for Blake and Mario to end their college careers at home."
Bobcats Seniors Blake Carr (Seymour, TN) and Mario McClunie (Knoxville, TN) were honored before the contest and contributed four and nine points respectively in their final game at Williams Gymnasium. The duo are finishing their fourth season as teammates, two of which have been at Lees-McRae. Both Carr and McClunie played together at Hiawassee Community College for two years prior to enrolling at Lees-McRae.
Raysean Hairston (Elizabethtown, NC) led all scorers with a game high 21 points while Aaron Woodacre (Piney Flats, TN) chipped in with 16.
Shawn Creal and Marques Williams led the Saints in scoring with 15 and 11 points respectively.
The Bobcats will hit the road for a pair of Conference Carolinas contests to end their season. Traveling to Wilson, NC to compete against Barton this Saturday at 7:30pm, the Bobcats will then head to Erskine for a 7:30pm tipoff the following Friday.
PICTURED TOP: Raysean Hairston
PICTURED BELOW LEFT: Blake Carr
PICTURED BELOW RIGHT: Mario McClunie