February 26, 2013

Bobcats surge to 87-78 win over North Greenville

TIGERVILLE, S.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team placed four players in double figures, and rode a 21-8 run to open the second half en route to an 87-78 victory over North Greenville University in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday evening.

Lees-McRae (3-22, 3-16 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 46 percent on the night, including a 47.5 percent clip in the first half, while holding North Greenville (10-15, 5-14 CC) to a mark of 40.6 percent from the floor in the contest. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 44-40 margin, including a 34-27 advantage on the defensive boards, while outscoring North Greenville's bench, 51-3.

Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) led the way for Lees-McRae with 18 points off the bench, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and going 7-for-10 from the free throw line in 17 minutes of play. Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) and Charles Clarke (Orlando, Fla.) added 16 points each, as Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) chipped in 12 markers with a 4-for-7 night from the floor.

Tyshawn Patterson paced the Crusaders with a game-high 25 points, going 9-for-17 from the floor and converting 6-of-10 attempts at the free throw line. Jimmy Ellis added 23 markers on 8-of-18 shooting; knocking down six three-pointers, as Chris Dean nearly posted a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds. Jamaal Pryor also added a game-high 10 boards for North Greenville.

The Bobcats battled back from several early deficits in the first half, answering a 12-3 Crusader run with a 19-8 surge of their own to claim a 37-31 advantage following a Sepokas triple at the 4:54 mark. Lees-McRae would parlay the momentum into a 45-40 halftime lead, pushing the advantage to five heading into the intermission on a last-second lay-in by Sepokas.

Lamot and the Bobcats came out firing in the second half, opening the period with a 21-8 run to stretch the lead to 66-48 following a three-pointer by DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) off a slick pass by Corey Young (Bluff City, Tenn.) at the 9:22 mark. North Greenville would battle back, answering with a 27-13 surge to cut the advantage to 79-75 on a triple by Ellis with 34 seconds to play.

The Bobcats refused to cede control, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 15 seconds to clinch the 87-78 victory and quell the rally.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats host Limestone College in their regular season finale at 7:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats will honor their senior class of Chad Eppley (Boone, N.C.), Robert Hawthorne (Greenville, S.C.), Juan Urbina (Barquisimeto, Venezuela), Brown, Henry, Sepokas, and Young as part of the night's festivities.

- LMC -