Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team will return to action with a pair of key Conference Carolinas matchups against King on Wednesday and at Mount Olive on Saturday. Tip-off for Wednesday's game is set for 7:30 p.m., while Saturday's contest is set for a 4 p.m. start time.
Last time out – The Bobcats dropped a 91-82 decision to Emmanuel College last Saturday at Williams Gymnasium. The loss pushed Lees-McRae's record to 5-13 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
Promotion for Wednesday – Wednesday's game versus King will serve as the program's 'Gold Out' game. Fans are encouraged to wear gold to support their Bobcats. Additionally, there will be 100 gold t-shirts that will be given away throughout the contest.
Getting to the line – After shattering the program's record for free throws made and attempted last season, the Bobcats are staying with that philosophy this season. Nationally, Lees-McRae ranks sixth in free throws made (300) and eighth in free throws attempted (406).
Freshman forward flourishing – Freshman Andrew Gardner has definitely made an impact in his first season in a Bobcat uniform. Gardner leads Lees-McRae in scoring average (15.1 PPG), rebounding average (5.4) and field goals made (92). Gardner was especially impressive last week averaging 26 points and six rebounds per game in contests against Mount Olive and Emmanuel.
About the Opponents - King comes into Wednesday's matchup in Banner Elk with a record of 9-6 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Tornado picked up a 60-59 victory over Mount Olive last Saturday on their home floor. Individually, a player to watch for King is Mike Salomon, who is averaging 12.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
Mount Olive, meanwhile, enters this week's action with a record of 6-10 overall and 5-2 in Conference Carolinas play. UMO boasts a balanced offense with four players averaging 10 or more points a game, including Jamaal Matin, who is averaging 14.2.
Series Histories vs. Opponents – With both King and Mount Olive being main rivals of Lees-McRae in Conference Carolinas, there is no shortage of history between the programs. Including a 103-93 win over the Bobcats last week, Mount Olive is 21-7 against the Bobcats since 2005. King, meanwhile, has won 12 of the 14 meetings since the Tornado joined the league in 2012.