Men's Basketball

Bobcats Upended in Physical Battle with No. 18 Mount Olive, 80-69

Bobcats Upended in Physical Battle with No. 18 Mount Olive, 80-69

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- A trio of Lees-McRae men's basketball players scored 14 points or more while forcing 15 turnovers, but the team fell to No. 18 Mount Olive, 80-69, in a Conference Carolinas game Sunday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Trojans (12-2, 5-1 CC) rebounded from an embarrassing loss by shooting 50% in the second half while Dontrell Brite dropped a game-high 20 points. The Bobcats (5-6, 1-4) enjoyed a 14-point, three-block effort from sophomore Donte Falls (Shelby, N.C.).

Both teams grabbed 43 boards and dished out 12 assists.

UMO's Jordan McCain led all players with 10 rebounds while LMC's Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) had a team-high nine.

Brite came out of the gates on fire by scoring 10 points in the first 4:49 of action while all of LMC's starters contributed a bucket during the span.

The Trojans used a 22-4 run to take a 34-15 lead after Tayon Gleaves drained a pair of three's.

Seniors Sean Deniton (Durham, N.C.) and Moore combined for 13 points while the Bobcats trimmed the deficit to four, 38-34.

UMO's John Wieland splashed a three with 21 seconds remaining in the first half to take a 41-34 lead into the intermission.

The Trojans defense held Coach Steve Hardin's squad without a bucket for the first 4:43 of the second half.

Falls hit a three and teammate Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) duplicated it by hitting one less than a minute later.

LMC held the Trojans to one field goal in the last 6:32, but UMO went 18-of-26 from the charity stripe to stave off a rally attempt.

Deniton had a game-high five assists while junior Kendall Isler (Winder, Ga.) had a team-high 16 points.

Isler has been on a torrid run and has scored 14 points or more in each of the last five games.

The Bobcats open up a three-game road swing with a trip to Emmanuel (Ga.) on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Franklin Springs, Ga.

- LMC -