BANNER ELK, N.C. – Despite 23-point performances from senior Darius Malbon and junior Jordan Turner, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team fell in its final home game of the season Wednesday to King (TN) University, 98-97. The Bobcats's record now stands at 8-17 overall and 7-10 in conference with the loss.
In the opening 20 minutes of the game Wednesday neither team had any issues scoring. LMC knocked down a total of 10 three-pointers in the half, which accounted for over half of its point total in half (54). King, however, drained seven threes of its own and made five more free throws than Lees-McRae. With all the scoring between the two squads, the score was 54-52 going into halftime.
Both Lees-McRae and King had several runs where they held the lead. The back-and-forth battle went right down to the wire as Donte Falls knocked down two free throws with 19 seconds remaining to give the Bobcats a 97-96 lead. King's Noble Fahnbulleh scored the go-ahead basket with eight seconds to go to seal the 98-97 win. The Bobcats had an opportunity to win the game in the closing second but a three-pointer by Turner was just off the mark.
In addition to the performances by Malbon and Turner, Jonathan Honore and Keith Heard II posted stellar outings. Honore dished out nine assists and Heard scored eight points, totaled seven rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.
The Bobcats will close out their regular season with three straight road games. The first being Saturday when LMC travels to North Greenville. Lees-McRae won the first meeting between the two teams, 85-77. If the Bobcats can pick up a win, it will be the second time in three years that they have won the season series against the Crusaders. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.