JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team's upset bid of Division I East Tennessee State University came up just short Thursday evening in Johnson City as ETSU came out on top by a score of 85-80. Had the Bobcats pulled out the victory, it would have marked the first victory over ETSU for Lees-McRae since 1941.
The Bobcats struggled offensively to get good looks at the basket in the early going as they shot just 20 percent in the first five minutes of play. Because of the cold shooting by Lees-McRae, ETSU opened an 11 point lead. LMC did not go away, however, as it got the three-ball working knocking down five three-pointers in the half. Three of those five came from Lepreece Lynch. Lynch totaled a team-high 15 points to help the Bobcats take a 41-40 lead heading into halftime.
LMC led the Bucs for the majority of the second half as it led by as many as five points with about nine minutes to go in the game. The Bobcats went cold in the latter stages of the game as it did not score over the last two minutes of the contest to help the Bucs finish off a 85-80 victory.
Lynch led the Bobcats on the scoreboard with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Donte Falls led LMC on the boards with six and Jonathan Honore paced the team with four assists.
A major difference in the game was the number of free throws attempted. ETSU made 44 trips to the free throw line compared to just 13 for Lees-McRae.
The Bobcats will return to Conference Carolinas action Saturday when they host Mount Olive at Williams Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.