Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
BLUEFIELD, Va. – Despite trailing at halftime, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team used a late surge in the game's final minutes to upend Bluefield College Friday night in non-conference action, 86-80. The win brings LMC's record back to the .500 mark at 3-3 on the season.
The Bobcats held the lead for the majority of the first half, but they did not hold it when the clock expired as the Rams led 39-38 at the break. The Rams did most of their damage from the free throw line as they attempted 23 free throws in the opening 20 minutes and made 17 of them. LMC, however, was able to keep within striking distance with sharp-shooting from beyond the arc. As a team, Lees-McRae shot 60 percent from three in the first half with Jordan Turner leading the way going a perfect 4-for-4.
In the second half, Lees-McRae and Bluefield traded turns with the lead with the Rams leading as late as 5:26 left to go in the game. After that point though, the Bobcats ramped things up outscoring Bluefield 20-13 over the final five minutes to race past the Rams, 86-80. Jason Saintizaire led this late Bobcat charge with nine points over this final stretch.
In addition to his play at the end of the game, Saintizaire was LMC's most consistent player throughout Friday's game. The junior from Lake Worth, Florida scored a team-high 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Seniors Jordan Turner, Donte Falls and Lepreece Lynch also reached double figures in the victory. Turner went 5-for-5 on three-point shots to finish with 15 points, while Lynch and Falls both netted 14 points.
LMC will return to action Saturday when it crosses the Virginia state line into West Virginia when it takes on Bluefield State College. Tip-off between the Big Blues and Bobcats is set for 4 p.m.