HARROGATE, Tenn. --- The Lees-McRae men's basketball team forced 18 turnovers and senior Sean Deniton dropped team-high 12 points while LMC defeated Tusculum, 78-71, in the SAC/Conference Carolinas Challenge Saturday afternoon in Harrogate, Tenn.
The Bobcats (1-1) played selfless on the offense side while eight players had at least two field goals. The Pioneers (0-2) capped off a winless weekend despite a 22-point outburst from Chance Mounce.
12 Bobcats turned in 10 minutes or more and sophomore Darius Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
TC's Cory Fagan hit a three after four consecutive points from Mounce to put the Pioneers up 14-9 early in the first half.
Freshman Zach Wilmoth (Dobson, N.C.) scored his first career points with a deep triple to tie it at 17 with 10:20 remaining in the opening stanza.
Sophomore Rishad Felton (Hendersonville, N.C.) followed suit with a three of his own to give Coach Steve Hardin's squad a 22-19 advantage.
LMC used a 14-3 run, fueled by seven points from Malbon, to stretch its lead to nine, 41-32.
Both teams shot effectively in the first 20 minutes while both were better than 40% from the floor.
The Bobcats pushed their advantage to 11, 45-34, following a Deniton layup while the defense held TC without a point in the first 2:15 of the second half.
The Pioneers shaved the deficit to nine, 67-58, with a three-pointer from Javon Price with 4:44 on the clock.
The Bobcats will make their home debut Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. for a Conference Carolinas battle against Southern Wesleyan in Williams Gymnasium.