Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The University of Mount Olive knocked down a total of 17 three-pointers Thursday night at Williams Gymnasium on its way to a 103-93 victory over the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team. The loss pushes Lees-McRae's record on the 2018-19 campaign to 5-12 overall and 2-6 in Conference Carolinas play.
To say Mount Olive had its three-point shooting touch on in the first half would be an understatement. The Trojans went 15-for-18 beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes, and six different UMO players accounted for those 15 makes. The trio of Malik Wright, Andrew Gardner and Quay Kimble kept the Bobcats within striking distance combining for 34 of the team's 43 points in the first half. Even with these outings, UMO held an 11-point halftime advantage, 54-43.
Facing an 11-point hole to dig out of, the Bobcats played well in the second half shooting 60 percent as a team. Gardner did the bulk of the damage for Lees-McRae scoring 18 points by himself in the second. Unfortunately, the cushion that Mount Olive built up in the first half proved too much for Lees-McRae to overcome as the Trojans ended up winning Thursday's tilt, 103-93.
Gardner had another stellar day for Lees-McRae statistically. The freshman forward from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. Kimble added 20 points of his own for his second 20-plus point outing of the season. Rounding out the double figure scorers for Lees-McRae were Wright (13 points) and Anthony Hicks (12 points).
The Bobcats will be back in action Saturday when they host Emmanuel at Williams Gymnasium. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Lions is set for 4 p.m.