BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Seniors Jacquise Moore (24), Sean Deniton (19) and sophomore Chad Hicks (11) dropped a season-high in points, but the Lees-McRae men's basketball team fell in an overtime heartbreaker, 95-92, to Barton in Conference Carolinas play Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bulldogs (7-5, 3-1 CC) had five players with 12 points or more while the team attempted 46 free throws. The Bobcats (5-5, 1-3) sizzled from the field by hitting 47.2% of their shots.
The game was entertaining for all 45 minutes while it saw 12 ties and 13 lead changes.
BC failed to maintain a four-point lead with 17 seconds left in the second half.
Moore (Concord, N.C.) led all players with nine rebounds while both teams drained seven three-pointers.
Moore and Deniton (Durham, N.C.) jumpstarted the Bobcat offense by notching 10 points while the team sprinted out to an 11-0 lead in the first 2:57.
A thunderous dunk by Moore and a pair of Darius Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) buckets pushed the lead to 13, forcing a Barton timeout.
The Bulldogs methodically climbed back into it with stingy defense while holding LMC without a bucket for 4:43 in the middle of the opening stanza.
A pair of three's from BC and four consecutive points from Daniel Westbrook completed the rally while the game was notched at 35 at halftime.
LMC shot 48.3% from the floor, but BC held a +7 advantage from the free throw line (12-5).
Barton gained the early momentum in the second half with a 13-2 run, while Jake Veasley and Danny Shand combined for 11 of the points.
Coach Steve Hardin's team stormed back with a 12-2 run, capped off by a deep three from junior Kendall Isler (Winder, Ga.), giving LMC a slim 63-62 lead.
It would remain a see-saw battle, while a Deniton layup with 56 seconds left gave LMC a one-point lead, 75-74.
The Bulldogs used a 6-1 run to take an 80-76 lead with 17 seconds remaining.
Deniton showed no fear by draining a three, thanks to a Chad Hicks (Winston-Salem, N.C.) assist, with 11 seconds on the clock.
After BC missed the front end on a pair of free throws, LMC turned Deniton again, who provided more heroics by slashing to the basket and notching a layup with 1.4 seconds on the clock.
BC's Patterson delivered two backbreaking three-pointers in a 33-second span in the overtime frame.
Deniton flushed a three with 31 seconds left to shave the deficit to one, 93-92, but a pair of Veasley free throws iced the win for the visitors.
The Bobcats clipped the 90-point plateau for the third time this year.
LMC welcomes Mount Olive for a CC tilt Sunday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -