BANNER ELK, N.C. - Lees-McRae College had 54 points off the bench on their way to an 81-66 win over Montreat to give the Bobcats their first win of the season in a men's basketball contest Saturday afternoon in Williams Gymnasium.
Forty-three of the Bobcats' (1-6) 54 bench points came from Stephen Haymer, 16 points and the team's leading scorer, Terrance Bridgeman, 14 points, and Daniel Sepokas, 13 points. The other 11 points came from Dairl Scott, who had seven points and Reshon Benjamin, who had four points. Montreat (2-10) had 19 bench points in the game.
Montreat took a quick four-point lead on four Terrell Mosley points, but Lees-McRae would quickly tie the game on a field goal by Jesse Hoots and a Benjamin putback with 16:03 remaining in the half. Four minutes later, with the score tied at eight a Haymer basket sparked 6-0 run Bobcat run capped on a Sam Youse reverse layup to give Lees-McRae a 14-8 lead with 8:44 left in the half. Montreat was able to close the lead to 19-17 on a Christian Tonkins field goal, but Bobcats quickly pushed the lead to eight, 25-17, with a 6-0 run with 3:36 left in the half. During the run, Sepokas knocked down four free throws, and Stephen Haymer had a steal, took a charge and knocked down a jumper. Lees-McRae would finish the half with a basket from Scott to take a 31-26 lead.
The Bobcats held the Cavilers to a 26 percent shooting percentage from the floor and 25 percent from behind the three-point arc, while Lees-McRae was 32 percent overall and didn't make a three in ten shots in the first half.
The second half started with Adam McFerran knocking down two free throws to give Lees-McRae a 33-31 lead before Montreat would battle back to give the game at 34 on Dustin Harris layup with 15:39 to play. Lees-McRae took a brief lead, but Montreat would again tie the game, at 43, making it the sixth tie of the game with 12:14 remaining. But a Bridgman three, the only Bobcat three of the game, sparked a 7-0 Lees-McRae run to give the Bobcats a 50-43 lead with just over ten minutes remaining. Another Lees-McRae run, this time a 12-5 run, had the Bobcats up 14, 62-48, with just over seven minutes remaining. The Cavilers closed the gap to nine, 64-55, with 5:14 to play, but the Bobcats closed out the game making 13 of their last 14 free throws and hitting two of their last four field goal attempts to seal the 81-66 win.
Montreat finished the game 35 percent overall, 19-of-54, and 50 percent from three, 9-of-18, while Lees-McRae finished 38 percent from the floor, 20-of-52, and just six percent from three, 1-of-15. The Bobcats hit 40 of their 52 free throws to finish at 76 percent, and the Cavilers were 19-of-26 for 73 percent from the charity strip.
Montreat committed 33 fouls compared to 21 from Lees-McRae. The Bobcats forced 24 turnovers compared to 18 forced by the Cavilers.
Bridgeman had 14 points, four rebounds, three steals, a block and no turnovers in 13:39 minutes of play in the game. Prior to the game he had only seen five minutes of action and made one of two shots for the Bobcats. Josh Kurtz collected a team-high six rebounds, and Anthony Johnson passed out a team-high three assists.
For the Cavilers, Cameron Hayes had a team-high 15 points and three steals. Matt Rushing also had 15 points and two blocks shots for Montreat. Harris and Seth Moore added 11 points and ten points respectively for the Cavilers. Harris also had a game-high seven rebounds.
Lees-McRae will return to action after the Christmas Break with a trip to Carson-Newman on December 31st.