November 19, 2013

Mountaineers endure exhibition battle with Bobcats

BOONE, N.C. --- Freshman Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.) paced the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team with 18 points and Darryl Bond (Nashville, Tenn.) added a game-high four blocks, as NCAA Division I Appalachian State University outscored the Bobcats by a 50-28 margin in the paint en route to a 91-63 exhibition win on Tuesday evening in the Holmes Convocation Center.

Appalachian State shot 52.7 percent from the floor on the night, including a 54.3 percent clip in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae to a field goal percentage of 40 percent in the contest. The Mountaineers held a 39-38 edge on the glass when the final whistle sounded, while overcoming a late advantage by Lees-McRae and converting 16 Bobcat miscues into 19 points.

Chambers knocked down 6-of-12 attempts from the floor to lead the way for the Bobcats with 18 points and adding five rebounds, as Bond and Raul Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.) each pulled down a team-high six boards. Bond chipped in 13 points and a game-high four blocks, while Darius Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) dished out four assists.

Mike Neal paced the Mountaineers with a game-high 21 points, connecting on 9-of-17 attempts from the floor, while adding contest-bests of six assists and four steals. Tab Hamilton chipped in 19 points with an 8-for-14 from the field, as Tevin Baskin and Michael Obacha each posted a game-high eight rebounds. Mike Kobani tallied 12 points, while Obacha and Frank Eaves both recorded 11 points.

The Mountaineers started off strong, opening the game with an 18-7 run that was capped by a Hamilton trey at the 12:47 mark. Lees-McRae fought back with a 7-4 spurt, closing the gap to 22-14 following a triple from Chambers with 10:22 left on the clock.

Appalachian State quickly countered with a 9-2 stretch, pushing the margin to 33-17 before carrying a 47-33 advantage into the intermission following a late trifecta by Smith.

The Bobcats battled throughout the second half, staying within striking distance and closing the gap with a late 9-2 run, which was capped by a nifty put-back layup from Chase Arnold at the 6:51 mark. Appalachian State would finish strong with an 11-3 spurt over the last four minutes, equaling the final margin on a last-second lay-in by Kobani.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats host Francis Marion University at 7 p.m. in the second game of the Americourt Hotels Basketball Classic in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -