BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The North Greenville University men's basketball team outscored Lees-McRae College by a 50-31 margin in the first half, and held off a late Bobcat rally en route to an 84-69 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Wednesday evening in Williams Gymnasium.
Prior to the contest, the Bobcats joined the women's team and several College administrators, including President Dr. Barry M. Buxton and Director of Athletics Craig McPhail, at halftime of the women's game to welcome the three people primarily responsible for their new playing surface. McNair and Debi Tornow, who donated the funding for the project, as well as Al Posadas, the owner of Peformance Flooring Services which sanded, painted and finished the floor, joined the Bobcats as part of the dedication ceremony for the McNair and Debi Tornow Court.
North Greenville (5-6, 2-5 CC) shot an even 40 percent from the field on the night, knocking down nine three-pointers while holding Lees-McRae (0-13, 0-7 CC) to a field goal percentage of 35.4 percent in the contest. The Crusaders won the battle on the glass by a 57-46 margin, including a 19-13 advantage on the offensive boards, as the Bobcats held a slim edge in the paint, 46-40.
Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) paced the Bobcats with 18 points, as Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) added 11 markers and Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) and DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) each chipped in 10 points. DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) posted a team-high nine rebounds, while Lamot dished out three assists.
Tyshawn Patterson led the way for North Greenville with 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting, knocking down a trio of three-pointers while Jamal Pryor added a double-double with 12 markers and a game-high 13 rebounds. Chris Dean and Keith Johnson chipped in 16 and 10 points, respectively, while Phillip Brown posted 10 boards.
The Bobcats started strong, opening the game with an 8-3 run before taking a 14-9 advantage following a Sepokas lay-in with 12:21 left in the first half. North Greenville would answer with a 13-2 surge, claiming a 22-16 lead on a Johnson trifecta at the 8:42 mark.
The Crusaders continued to dictate the tempo over the final eight minutes of the half, closing the period with a 15-2 run to take a 50-31 advantage into the intermission following a buzzer-beating jumper by Tim Franklin.
North Greenville carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 12-4 spurt to push the lead to 62-35 with 13:28 to play following a Patterson layup. The Crusaders would hold on from there, surviving a spirited rally by the Bobcats that cut the lead to 84-69 on a late throw-down by Jeremi King (Fort Myers, Fla.).
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Hartsville, S.C. to take on Coker College in conference play at 4 p.m.
- LMC -