Tillman lifts Bobcats over Saints, 66-64

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) posted the first double-double of his career with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to lead the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team to a thrilling 66-64 victory over Limestone College in Conference Carolinas play on Monday night in Williams Gymnasium.

Lees-McRae (7-13, 6-5 CC) dominated the battle on the glass by a 42-25 margin, including a 15-5 advantage on the offensive boards, while sweeping the season series with Limestone (11-14, 4-9 CC) for the first time since the 2008-2009 campaign. The Bobcats posted a field goal percentage of 39.7 percent on the night, including a 44.8 percent clip in the second half, while converting 17-of-20 attempts at the charity stripe. Limestone shot 49 percent from the floor in the game.

Tillman paced the Bobcats with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting, including a 4-for-5 night from the free throw line, while pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) led Lees-McRae with 15 points, posting a 4-for-9 night from the floor and converting 7-of-8 attempts at the charity stripe. Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) added 13 points and three assists, while Henry pulled down seven rebounds.

Charles Blue led all scorers with 21 points to pace the Saints, knocking down 8-of-17 shots from the floor and going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc while posting a game-high three blocks. Phillip Moultrie and Josh Corry added 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Blue added a team-high six rebounds.

Limestone got off to a strong start in the first half, taking a 21-12 lead on a three-pointer by Ryan Bogdan at the 12:12 mark. The Bobcats would answer with a 10-2 run, trimming the margin to 23-22 on a Henry jumper before the Saints closed out the period with a 13-7 spurt to take a 36-29 lead into the intermission.

Lees-McRae countered with a 13-2 run to open the second half, taking a 42-38 lead on a pair of Henry freebies at the 14:25 mark. After Limestone answered with a 14-5 spurt to claim a 52-47 advantage, Lees-McRae rallied with a 12-2 run to regain the lead at 59-54 on a jumper by Gideon Oji (Imane in Kogi, Nigeria) with just under four minutes to play.

The Saints would respond with a Corry triple and a Nick Debnam layup to even the tally at 59-59 before the Bobcats answered with a 4-0 spurt of their own, snatching a 63-59 lead on a Henry jumper with 1:12 to play. After Corry knocked down a clutch three-pointer to cut the advantage to one, and Blue banked home a layup to give the Saints a 64-63 lead with 26 ticks left, Tillman cleaned up the offensive glass following a missed layup and dropped it in to put the Bobcats up 65-64 with 13 seconds remaining on the clock. Tillman then pulled down a clutch rebound on the ensuing Limestone possession, drawing the foul and sinking one of two free throws with three seconds left to ice the 66-64 victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine College in conference play at 7:30 p.m.

- LMC -