Seniors Power Men's Hoops to Record-Breaking Win Against Emmanuel (Ga.), 86-78

Seniors Power Men's Hoops to Record-Breaking Win Against Emmanuel (Ga.), 86-78

Coach Steve Hardin Interview
Seniors Interview
Coach Steve Hardin Ice Bath

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lees-McRae's senior class combined for 53 points while the men's basketball team made history by claiming their school-record 14th win in 86-78 fashion against Conference Carolinas foe Emmanuel (Ga.) Tuesday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Bobcats (14-10, 9-8 CC) set the single-season record with suffocating defense while holding the EC to 35.1% from the floor. The Lions (14-9, 10-6) were the runner up in the NAIA National Tournament last season.

The trio of Raul Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.), Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) and Sean Deniton (Durham, N.C.) accounted for over half of LMC's points while each player scored at least 17 points.

The Lions' Patrick McCrary got rolling early with a five-point spurt, giving EC a 14-5 lead after 5:40 of action.

Deniton sliced his way to two layups to shave the deficit to two, 19-17.

EC's Michael Stanley hit a pair of free throws at the 3:39 mark, but consecutive threes from Moore and Deniton jumpstarted a 13-5 run.

Tutton and Deniton scored on layups in the final 15 seconds of the first half while LMC held a slim 34-33 advantage at the break.

Coach Steve Hardin's squad hosted a block party in the first 20 minutes by swatting nine shots, powered by sophomore Donte Falls (Shelby, N.C.), who had three.

The Bobcats hit five free throws, with a Darius Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) triple thrown in the mix to take a 56-50 lead.

LMC hit 25-of-30 free throws in the second half.

Sophomore Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) ripped net on a crucial three before a Deniton layup gave the Bobcats their largest lead of the game, 61-53.

Steven Guinchard caught fire with six quick points to cut the deficit to three, 71-68.

EC's Guinchard finished with a game-high 17 points.

The Lions would get as close as 77-76, however, the Bobcats clamped down and finished the game on a 10-1 run to earn the historic win.

Malbon put an exclamation point on the victory with a dunk with 27 second remaining.

The Bobcats shot a staggering 52.2% in the second half.

Hardin's squad welcomes North Greenville Saturday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. for Senior Day at Williams Gymnasium. Moore, Tutton and Deniton will be honored prior to the contest.

- LMC -