Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – In front of a sold out crowd at Williams Gymnasium, Lees-McRae College men's basketball team made a valiant comeback Friday night against King University. LMC trailed by as many as 15 points to the Tornado in the second half before the Bobcats rallied to take the lead with 1:26 to go in regulation. Even with the impressive rally by Lees-McRae, King knocked down seven key free throws down the stretch to seal the 102-98 win over the Bobcats. LMC's record for the regular season concludes at 20-8 overall and 13-5 in conference play.
King definitely played better than Lees-McRae in the first 20 minutes of action. The Tornado shot nearly 52 percent from field compared to just a 34.1 percent clip from the Bobcats. With the differential in the two teams' shooting percentages, the Tornado held a comfortable 13 points lead on LMC at the half time break, 51-38.
The Bobcats fared much better in the second half. LMC upped their overall shooting percentage to 44.2 on 52 shots in the second half. As mentioned earlier, the Bobcats rallied all the way back to lead 97-96 with just over a minute to go before the Tornado iced the game from the free throw line. The free throw line was a major factor in the second half as King got to the line 32 times compared to just 11 for LMC. King's Jordan Floyd, who led all scorers with 36 points, went a perfect 14-for-14 from the line in the second half.
Senior Lepreece Lynch notched a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Lees-McRae. Quay Kimble added 17 points of his own, while dishing out a team-high seven assists. Kamil Williams also provided a boost off the bench for LMC scoring 14 points in 18 minutes of action.
Lees-McRae will return to Williams Gymnasium Tuesday night when it hosts a Conference Carolinas Quarterfinal matchup against No. 7 seed Erskine. Tip-off for that game is set for 7 p.m.