BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Senior Sean Deniton dropped 18 points and the team shot 53.6% in the second while the Lees-McRae men's basketball hung on to win a thriller against Conference Carolinas foe North Greenville, 79-75, Saturday afternoon at Senior Day at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bobcats (15-10, 10-8 CC) moved into third place in the standings while senior Jacquise Moore (Concord, N.C.) aggravated the NGU offense by accumulated five steals. The Crusaders (16-9, 9-8) saw Phillip Brown score a game-high 27 points while the team shot an impressive 50.9% from the field.
Freshman Keegan Crabtree (Hillsborough, N.C.) drained a three at the 14:15 mark before a Deniton (Durham, N.C.) free throw tied it at 12.
Both offenses got rolling by combining to sink five consecutive buckets.
Sophomore Chad Hicks (Winston-Salem, N.C.) sliced his way for a layup to cap off a quick 6-2 LMC run, 28-24.
Donte Falls (Shelby, N.C.) splashed a three with 1:09 on the clock to give LMC a four-point advantage. 39-35.
The Bobcats hoisted 16 threes in the opening half. Brown tallied 11 first half points while NGU shot 50%.
Neither team could get much breathing room in the second half, but a Raul Tutton (Memphis, Tenn.) layup and free throw put LMC up six, 57-51.
Tutton, Moore and Deniton were honored prior the contest.
The Bobcats grabbed their largest lead of the game with a Falls jumper, 65-57, with 6:48 remaining.
Brown powered a NGU 15-6 run to tie it at 71 with 2:51 left in regulation.
Brown grabbed six rebounds to go with his 27 points.
Junior Kendall Isler (Winder, Ga.) drained a monster three moments later to give LMC a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Coach Steve Hardin's defense clamped down and allowed only one bucket in the final 2:51 while sophomore Jonathan Honore (Baton Rouge, La.) iced the win with four made free throws.
Falls finished with 11 points while Darius Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) chimed in with 10.
LMC has won 10 of its last 13 games.
The Bobcats hit the road for a nonconference game at Bluefield St. Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Bluefield, W. Va.