Men's Basketball

Late rally lifts Blues to 79-77 win over Bobcats

Late rally lifts Blues to 79-77 win over Bobcats

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) poured in a team-high 24 points to lead the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team on Saturday afternoon in the final game of the 2013 Americourt Hotels Basketball Classic, as Bluefield State College rallied from a 47-37 halftime deficit for a narrow 79-77 victory.

Bluefield State (1-6) posted a field goal percentage of 41.7 percent in the contest, including a 42.9 percent clip in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (3-4) to a mark of 35.5 percent in the final 20 minutes. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 51-39 margin, including a 20-15 advantage on the defensive boards, as Bluefield State converted 23 Bobcat miscues into 32 points.

Moore paced the Bobcats with a 7-for-10 day from the floor, knocking down four three-pointers while adding six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Raul Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.) added 12 points and seven boards, while Darryl Bond (Nashville, Tenn.) posted game-highs of 14 rebounds and three blocks.

Shakir Dunning led the way for Bluefield State with a game-high 29 points, hitting 10-of-20 shots from the floor while adding three assists. Treon Claiborne and Remar Brothers chipped in 20 and 15 points, respectively, as Claiborne and Avery Holliday each dished out a game-high five assists. Samuel Ouedraogo tallied team-highs of 13 rebounds and two blocks.

The Bobcats opened the first half with an 11-8 run, capping the spurt with an emphatic put-back dunk by Moore at the 15:48 mark. Lees-McRae continued to push the tempo over the next several minutes, stretching the margin to 25-15 on a jumper from DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) with 9:46 left in the half.

Bluefield State would answer with a 10-2 spurt, trimming the margin to 27-25 on a Dunning lay-in before Lees-McRae countered, launching a 15-6 run to push the advantage to 42-31 following a Tutton triple at the 1:39 mark. The Blues closed the half with six of the period's final 11 points, trimming the margin to 47-37 at the intermission after back-to-back treys from Dunning.

The Bobcats responded in the second half, opening the period with an 18-11 run to push the advantage to 65-48 following a layup by Chase Arnold (Kingsport, Tenn.) with 12:01 to go. Bluefield State battled back over the next six minutes, closing the gap to 70-66 with an 18-5 surge that was capped by back-to-back triples from Dunning at the 5:46 mark.

After Darius Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) converted a pair of freebies, the Blues countered with a 10-2 run to claim their first lead since the opening moments of the first half, taking a 76-74 advantage on a lay-in by Dunning with 1:36 left on the clock.

Dunning would push the margin to 78-74 with two free throws before Moore answered for the Bobcats, knocking down a clutch triple with eight ticks remaining to pull Lees-McRae within one at 78-77. Bluefield completed the rally with an Antoine Bryant freebie, equaling the final margin of 79-77with the front end of the two-shot foul before Smith's buzzer-beating effort fell inches off the mark for the Bobcats.

Lees-McRae will return to the court after the Thanksgiving holiday, traveling to Jefferson City, Tenn. on Monday, December 2 to take on Carson-Newman University in non-conference play at 7 p.m.

- LMC -