BANNER ELK, N.C. – The loyal fans of the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team were treated to not one buzzer beater but two Friday night at Williams Gymnasium. First, Donte Falls connected on a three-pointer to send the game into overtime and then Lepreece Lynch drained a layup in the final second of overtime to lift the Bobcats to an 84-82 victory over Mount Olive. The win boosts LMC's record to 13-7 overall and 7-4 in league play.
Neither team missed a step in the opening half. Both squads made 14 field goals, three three-pointers and shot around 50 percent from the floor. The lone difference in the first half was at the free throw line. LMC was able to get to the line six more times than the Trojans and made three more as well. That led the Bobcats to hold a 41-38 lead over UMO after one frame.
As one could expect from a team that entered the night undefeated in league play, the Trojans kept the pressure on the Bobcats in the second half. Despite shooting 60 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three-point range, the Bobcats lost their lead to Mount Olive. It looked like UMO would escape Banner Elk with an 80-77 win, but LMC had the ball with 10 seconds remaining. After Jordan Turner lost his dribble, Falls found the handle and heaved up a three-pointer that found nothing but net to tie the score at 80-80 forcing overtime. Check out that shot HERE.
The overtime frame was largely uneventful as the two teams combined for just six points in the five minute extra frame. Mount Olive broke the scoring drought with about two minutes to go with a layup by Dominique Tham. LMC would answer with a jumper by Kamil Williams to knot the score at 82. After a few more possessions with no changes to the scoreboard, the Bobcats had the chance to win the game with 10 seconds to go and with possession of the ball. Falls attempted a jumper that fell short, but Lynch was there to put the try back and it went in as the clock hit zero to send the Bobcat faithful into a frenzy. Check out the game-winning basket HERE.
It proved fitting that Lynch scored the winning basket as he finished tied for the team-lead with 18 points on the night. Turner also finished with 18, while freshman Quay Kimble rounded out the double figure scorers for the Bobcats with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Lees-McRae will look to ride this momentum into Saturday's contest when it hosts Barton at 4 p.m.