WILSON, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team had an opportunity to win Tuesday's game at Barton Tuesday with a last second three-pointer from Jordan Turner, but it was off the mark allowing the Bulldogs to hold on for the 85-83 victory. LMC moves to 8-19 overall and 7-12 in Conference Carolinas action with the loss.
The opening 20 minutes of play were very competitive with neither team building much of an advantage. LMC built the biggest lead in the half with 5:36 to go when Rishad Felton nailed a jump shot to give the Bobcats a 33-24 advantage. Barton, however, quickly regained the lead two minutes later, 34-33. Following the sudden surge by the Bulldogs, the two teams continued to exchange points until the clock struck zeros. The score at the half was 40-39 with Lees-McRae in the lead.
The competiveness continued when the two teams returned from halftime. No lead grew to more than five points in the second. Felton gave LMC a 79-74 lead with 3:07 to go giving the Bobcats a bit of a cushion. Much like they did in the first half, Barton came back with a three ball of its own shortly following the one by Felton to regain the lead, 81-79. Turner put Lees-McRae back in front with 41 seconds to go with a layup, but Barton answered with a three-pointer to pull back ahead, 84-83. The Bulldogs added a made free throw to make it 85-83 before Turner's last second attempt was just off the mark giving Barton the two-point win.
Overall, five different Bobcats finished in double figures Tuesday. Felton paced all Bobcat scorers with 17 points. Senior Darius Malbon chipped in 16 points of his own while juniors Donte Falls, Lepreece Lynch and Turner all finished in double figures too.
LMC will look to improve its positioning for the conference tournament Friday when it closes out its regular season at King (TN) University. Much like the game Tuesday, the Tornado clipped the Bobcats in the final minute when the two teams met earlier this month, 98-97. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. from Bristol, Tenn.