Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team knocked off conference rival North Greenville 81-78 Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium. The victory, which is LMC's second straight over a league foe, improves the team's record to 5-7 overall and 2-2 in Conference Carolinas play.
Neither team had any issues finding the bottom of the net in the first half of Saturday's contest. The Bobcats shot 51.4 percent for the half, while NGU wasn't too far behind coming in at 50 percent from the field. Despite the shooting percentages of both teams, Lees-McRae led by as many as 22 points at one point before the Crusaders came back to get the deficit down to eight points heading into the halftime break, 41-33.
North Greenville kept the pressure on the Bobcats when the two teams came back for the second half of play. NGU finally gained the lead on Lees-McRae with 9:16 to go in regulation, 60-58. LMC would turn to its free throw shooting to regain the lead. For the half, Lees-McRae went 14-for-18 from the line. Even with LMC's strong showing from the line, the Crusaders and Bobcats traded turns with the lead until the final seconds. The winning points came from sophomore point guard Quay Kimble as he connected on a three-pointer with 16 seconds to go. LMC was able to weather a last-second three-pointer by NGU to hold for the victory.
Individually, the Bobcats were led Saturday by Jerick Haynes who scored a team-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. Malik Wright (14 points) and Kimble (13 points) also finished the day in double figures as well. LMC's bench also received good outings from Anthony Hicks (14 points) and Kerry Richardson (10 points) to help the cause.
The Bobcats will break for the holidays over the next week or so before returning to action on December 30 when they travel to Anderson (S.C.) for a non-conference matchup. Tip-off for that contest is set for 4 p.m.