BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Senior Austin Anderson matched a season-high with 28 points and junior Darius Malbon set a season-high with 14 while the Lees-McRae men's basketball battered Barton, 102-86, in a Conference Carolinas showdown Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bobcats (13-10, 9-4 CC) rebounded from a tough road loss earlier in the week by clipping the 100-point plateau for the first time at home this season and second time on the year (11/18 at Southern Indiana; 104). The Bulldogs (15-7, 10-4) never led while Dominique Byrd led the team with 19 points.
Coach Steve Hardin's squad improves to 7-1 at home this season and has scored 90 points or more on nine different occasions.
LMC swept the season series from Barton for the first time in school history and forced 15 turnovers.
Avery Wallis (Wilkesboro, N.C.) scored four of his nine points in a 62-second span before an Anderson jumper kept the lead at seven, 25-18.
Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) continued his impressive play of late with a deep three at the 8:19 mark. He has scored in double figures in three consecutive contests.
The Bobcat defense held BC without a field goal for 4:46 while extending the lead to nine, 38-29, following a Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) layup.
Anderson drained four free throws and Hicks connected on a three and a jumper while LMC pushed the advantage to 12, 47-35.
Hicks scored 11 points and dished out three assists.
Lepreece Lynch (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Hicks scored LMC's first seven points of the second half, 54-43.
The Bobcats stymied BC once again and held it without a point for 4:12 before Daniel Westbrook connected on a three-point shot.
The Bulldogs' Byrd ripped off a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to seven, 64-57.
Wallis responded with a loud three on the next possession.
LMC caught fire from three-point land and scored its next four buckets from there.
Anderson was responsible for three of them, including one that broke a Bulldog ankle and brought the home crowd to its feet.
Freshman Trey Hall (Apopka, Fla.) scored on a layup and made the most of his 12 minutes by scoring eight points and grabbing three rebounds.
After double technical fouls on a scrappy play, the Bobcats used clutch free throw shooting to extend the lead to 17, 88-71.
BC cut it 10, but a Malbon thunderous rim-rocking dunk all but sealed the game.
LMC kept BC at arm's length and used 24 made free throws in the second half to earn the win.
Isler finished with 11 points and Anderson led the team with seven rebounds.
LMC travels to Mount Olive Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. for a CC tilt in Mount Olive, N.C.
- LMC -