BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lees-McRae junior Raul Tutton exploded for a season-high 20 points while leading a quartet of players in double figures, but LMC fell in a shootout against Limestone, 95-84, Monday evening in Conference Carolinas at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Saints (14-6, 6-4 CC) shot an eye-popping 75% in the second half while three players scored at least 20 points. The Bobcats (6-14, 1-9 CC) fared well in the second half by shooting 50% while Darius Smith (Woodbridge, Va.) enjoyed a 19-point performance.
Both teams scored early and often, but a three from Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.) gave LMC an early four-point lead, 16-12.
LC's Josh Odem drained a three to cap off an 11-3 run at the 8:31 mark.
Neither team could create much breathing room until Jamal McNeill scored on a layup to give the visitors a five-point lead, 37-32.
Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) connected on a pair of free-throws each to tie the game for the fifth time of the first half, 39-39.
Rashod Chavis hit a jumper at the buzzer to give LC the lead at intermission, 43-41.
Both squads hit six three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
The Saints would use a 10-2 run following an and-one from Shaq Dance to take an 11-point lead, 74-63.
LMC would trail by as many as 14 after a Dance layup with 2:11 remaining in regulation.
Junior Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) would slash his way to the basket for a layup and Gaither would force a turnover in an attempt to cut the deficit.
However, Odem would grab a defensive board following a missed three to seal the win.
Odem led all scorers with 24 points while Jamal McNeill had 23 and PJ Foster with 20.
LC shot 57.9% from the floor and hit 13 3's on the evening.
Tutton paced the Bobcats while Moore had 17 and Chambers finished with 12 and a team-high seven rebounds.
LMC returns to action Thursday evening at 7:30 for a nonconference tilt against Warren Wilson in Williams Gymnasium.