Bobcats rally for third straight win, best start as NCAA member
BREVARD, N.C. --- Junior Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) and senior Darius Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) posted game-highs of 29 points and 11 assists to lead the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team to a 94-89 win over Brevard College, as the Bobcats scored the game's final seven points en route to the program's best start as an NCAA Division II member.
With the win, Lees-McRae (3-0) records the first three-game win streak to open a season as a member of the NCAA, posting a field goal percentage of 53.7 percent while knocking down 61 percent of its shots in the second half. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 31-26 margin, including a 10-7 advantage on the offensive boards, while converting 17 Brevard (0-1) turnovers into 17 points.
Moore turned in his best performance of the young season, knocking down 13-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-4 from downtown for a game-high 29 points. Chad Hicks (Winston-Salem, N.C.) added a double-double with 17 points and a contest-best 10 boards, as Smith dished out a game- and season-high 11 assists. Darryle Bond (Nashville, Tenn.) and Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.) chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively, as Moore tallied a game-high five steals.
Dominique Pickett and Darius Moose led the way for Brevard with 25 and 24 points, respectively, as Moose added 10 rebounds to post a double-double. Trevon Shaw added 14 points off the bench, while Jake Pifer chipped in 11 points. Pickett and Manzey Miller dished out seven and five assists, respectively, as they each tallied three steals.
Brevard jumped out to an early 15-7 lead before the Bobcats responded, closing the gap to 28-26 with a 19-13 run, which was capped by a pair of freebies by Chambers with 8:49 left on the clock. The Tornadoes quickly countered with a 10-2 spurt, pushing the margin to 38-28 on a Moose lay-in at the 6:01 mark.
Lees-McRae answered with a 20-11 run, cutting the lead to 49-48 heading into the intermission following an emphatic throw down by Moore and a buzzer-beating layup by DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.).
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a pair of quick buckets from Moore to take a 52-49 advantage with 19:02 remaining. Brevard countered with a 13-4 run, claiming a 62-56 lead following a Pifer triple at the 16:18 mark.
Lees-McRae responded once again, launching a 16-2 surge to open a 72-64 lead on a Bond jumper with 12:12 to go in the game. Brevard countered with an 8-3 spurt, trimming the margin to 75-72 following a Pickett trey at the 9:52 mark.
After the Bobcats pushed the gap to 83-74 with an 8-2 stretch of their own, Brevard answered with a 10-2 run, cutting the lead to 85-84 on a three-point play by Pickett with 4:38 to play. The Tornadoes continued the rally over the next three minutes, claiming an 89-87 advantage on a Moose lay-in to cap a 5-2 spurt with just over a minute left on the clock.
The Bobcats would score the final seven points of the contest, taking the lead for good on a downtown dagger by Chambers at the 1:01 mark, before Moore and Smith capped the scoring with a layup and two free throws in the closing seconds.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday evening when the Bobcats travel to Salisbury, N.C. to take on Livingstone College at 6 p.m. in Johnson C. Smith University's Tip-Off Classic.
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