MONTREAT, N.C. --- Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Chad Hicks (Winston-Salem, N.C.) poured in 24 and 18 points, respectively, and Darius Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) dished out a game-high nine assists to lead the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team to a 104-92 victory over Montreat College in non-conference play on Friday evening.
With the victory, Lees-McRae (6-5) runs its win streak to three games and lifts the Bobcats above the .500 mark for the season. The Bobcats posted a field goal percentage of 57.4 percent on the night, including a 60 percent clip in the first half, while Montreat (7-5) knocked down 55.8 percent of its attempt from the floor. Montreat won the battle on the glass by a 29-25 margin, including a 19-15 advantage on the defensive boards, as Lees-McRae converted 25 Montreat turnovers into 33 points.
Chambers paced the Bobcats with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, knocking down four three-pointers and dishing out three assists. Hicks added a season-high 18 points with a 6-for-8 night from the floor, as Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) and Raul Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.) chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Smith tallied a game-high nine assists, while Darryl Bonds (Nashville, Tenn.) and Donte Falls (Shelby, N.C.) both blocked two shots.
La'Bris Adams led all scorers with 30 points for Montreat, connecting on 10-of-16 attempts from the field while blocking a game-high three shots. Melvin Irvin and Kerigan Farley added 16 and 13 points, respectively, as Farley dished out six assists.
Lees-McRae never trailed in the contest, jumping out to an early 17-6 lead on a triple by Smith with 14:59 on the clock. Montreat fought back over the next several minutes, cutting the margin to 27-21 following a deep three from Adams at the 9:32 mark.
The Cavaliers continued to chip away, trimming the advantage to 35-32 on a Farley jumper before Lees-McRae regained control, answering with an 18-7 run over the final six minutes to take a 53-39 lead into the intermission.
Lees-McRae carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 17-10 spurt to stretch the advantage to 70-49 on back-to-back treys by Chambers with 15:38 to go. The Bobcats continued to push the tempo over the next several minutes, wreaking havoc on the Montreat press and widening the gap to 81-55 following a nifty put-back layup by Falls at the 11:13 mark.
Montreat slowly clawed back over the next eight minutes, cutting the lead to 95-81 with a 26-14 run that was capped by a pair of Melvin Irvin freebies with 2:34 to go. The Bobcats would weather the storm over the final two and a half minutes, closing out the victory with a late bucket by DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.).
Lees-McRae returns to the court after the Christmas holiday, traveling to NCAA Division I High Point University for an exhibition contest at 7 p.m. in High Point, N.C. on Friday, January 3, 2014.
- LMC -