PEMBROKE, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College Bobcats shot 50 percent from the field and took a 16-point lead into the halftime break, but the UNC-Pembroke Braves engineered a 21-3 run early in the second half and held off a late charge by the Bobcats to turn in a 76-74 victory Wednesday afternoon in the English E. Jones Center in a non-conference game.
Kyle Boardman poured in a game-high 26 points and a team high
seven rebounds for the Bobcats (0-12). Aaron Woodacre collected 14
points. Sam Youse and Jesse Hoots had 11 points and ten points
respectively. Hoots also had a game high seven assists.
Marcus Heath registered 20 points, five assists and five steals to lead a quartet of Braves (3-6) with double-figure scoring nights. Brandon Thomas scored 18 points, Jason Smith added 13 and David Moore tallied his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds for UNCP as well.
Lees-McRae lost a 16-point halftime lead in the opening minutes of the second half before Thomas sunk the back half of a two-shot foul with 14:43 left to play to ignite the hosts on a game-deciding 21-3 run that was ended prematurely on an intermittent power failure at the 8:36 mark. The power failure, caused by strong winds in the Robeson County area, left the Jones Center dark for much of the 25-minute delay in action.
UNCP forged a 10-point lead, 65-55, on Nate Priest's lay-in at the 4:38 mark, but the Bobcats rode the shoulders of consistent shooting by Boardman and Woodacre to chop the deficit down to just seven with 17 ticks left. Consecutive 3-point plays by Hoots and Youse with 11 ticks left brought Lees McRae to within two, but UNCP found a hole in the full court press on the ensuing inbounds to seal the victory.
The Braves scored the first five points of the game to set the tone early, but Youse's trey just less than seven minutes into the contest sparked the visitors on a time-consuming 11-4 run that gave Lees-McRae a 24-13 advantage at the 8:05 mark. The Bobcats would score eight of the half's final 10 points to take a 38-22 lead into the intermission.
Lees-McRae will step back into conference play again on Saturday when they make the trip to Laurinburg to battle St. Andrews (2-6, 0-2 Conference Carolinas). Tip off for that contest has been set for 4 p.m.
2008-2009 Season Stats
Pictured: Kyle Boardman