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 contests at Williams Gymnasium. LMC will host Southern Wesleyan Wednesday before welcoming North Greenville to the High Country Saturday afternoon. Wednesday's contest is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start time, while Saturday's is set to begin at 4 p.m.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats dropped a 100-96 decision to Limestone last Tuesday at home. The loss pushes LMC's record to 3-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Jerick's Great Performance – Even with the loss, junior Jerick Haynes put together his best performance in a Bobcat uniform against Limestone. Haynes scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds both of which were career-highs. The 33-point effort was the highest for a Bobcat since Kamil Williams scored 37 points at Belmont Abbey on January 31.
Making it Count from the Line – After shattering the school's record for free throws made and attempted last season, the Bobcats are doing similar things in 2018-19. Currently, LMC ranks 12th nationally in free throws made (173) and 14th in free throws attempted (231). Freshman Andrew Gardner leads the team in both categories going 45-for-51 from the line this season.
Sophomore with the steals – Sophomore Quay Kimble has been one of the top players in the nation this season in terms of stealing the ball. Kimble is 21st in the nation with 22 steals this season. In addition to his steal numbers, Kimble also leads the team in minutes played (330:39), assists (43) and three-pointers made (23).
About the Opponents – Southern Wesleyan enters Wednesday's matchup in Banner Elk with a record of 2-7 overall and 1-1 in league play. SWU has won two of its last three games, including a 66-65 overtime victory over North Greenville two weeks ago. Individually, the Warriors are led by Jalen Lowery who is averaging 12.7 points per game.
North Greenville, meanwhile, enters the week with a 1-8 record overall and a 0-3 mark in conference play. Despite losing all three conference games, NGU hasn't been far off as two of those three defeats have come by just one point. A couple players to watch for the Crusaders Saturday are Kovi Tate and Roderick Howell. Both players average over 10 points per contest, while also averaging over five rebounds per game.
Series Histories vs. Opponents – Lees-McRae has enjoyed quite a bit of success against both SWU and NGU over the years. Since 2006, LMC is 18-8 against the Warriors and Crusaders. Additionally, Lees-McRae won all four games played against those two institutions last season winning by an average of 17.75 points.