Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team will return to action this week with a pair of Conference Carolinas matchups. First, the Bobcats will host Limestone Tuesday night at Williams Gymnasium before heading out on the road Saturday to take on Mount Olive. Tip-off for Tuesday's contest is set for 7:30 p.m., while Saturday's tilt is set to get underway at 4 p.m.
Last Time Out – LMC trailed by as many as 15 points last Saturday at Emmanuel, but it clawed back to get within one possession. Despite the stellar effort, the Bobcats ultimately fell to the Lions, 91-88. The loss pushes Lees-McRae's record to 3-6 overall and 0-1 in conference.
Lees-McRae from Long Distance – A strength for the Bobcats in the first month of this season has been their ability to shoot from three-point range. No team in Conference Carolinas has made as many three-pointers (76) as LMC has so far. Jonathan Webb has accounted for 19 of these makes with teammate Quay Kimble not far behind with 18 made three-pointers of his own.
20/20 for the Freshman – Freshman Andrew Gardner has put together back-to-back 20-point efforts in LMC's last two games. Gardner scored a career-high 21 points in Thursday's game against Johnson C. Smith before scoring 20 more points in Saturday's matchup at Emmanuel. Gardner currently Lees-McRae in scoring average (13.0 PPG), rebounding average (4.4 RPG) and three-point field goal percentage (47.6).
Getting Second Chances – The Bobcats currently lead the league averaging 13.2 offensive rebounds per game. Several players have helped make this happen but Malik Wright (1.4 ORPG) and Anthony Hicks (1.2 ORPG) have paced these efforts.
About the Opponents – Limestone will come to Banner Elk Tuesday boasting a record of 5-2 on the season. The Saints, who haven't played a conference game yet, will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid after beginning their season a perfect 5-0. The strength of Limestone is its balanced offense. LC currently has five different players averaging over 10 points per game, including Kenny Hairston who leads the team averaging 18.1 points per contest.
Mount Olive, meanwhile, enters this week's action with record of 2-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. UMO is coming off a 78-63 victory over King last Saturday at home. Much like Limestone, the Trojans have a varied offense with five players averaging double figures. Alan Treakle leads these efforts averaging 14.8 points per contest.
Series Histories vs. Opponents - There is no shortage of history between Lees-McRae and its two opponents this week. LMC is 8-20 against Limestone since 2006 and 7-20 versus UMO since 2005. In the matchups between LMC/Limestone and the Bobcats/Mount Olive last season, each game played was won by the home team.