Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
GAFFNEY, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team saw its five-game winning streak snapped Wednesday night at Limestone as the latter defeated the Bobcats, 96-92. The loss pushes Lees-McRae's overall record to 10-14 and its league record to 6-8.
The Bobcats relied heavily on their starting five and their shooting from the free throw line in the first half. The combination of Anthony Hicks, Quay Kimble, Jerick Haynes, Malik Wright and Andrew Gardner combined to score 42 of the team's 46 points in the first half. Additionally, the Bobcats went an impressive 8-of-9 from the free throw line in the opening 20 minutes. Lees-McRae needed all the points it could get as it went into the break tied with Limestone, 46-46.
After the break, it looked like the Bobcats could start to run away to their sixth straight win as they led the Saints by eight with 14:03 to go. Credit to Limestone, however, as it went an unbelievable 17-of-22 on field goals inside the arc to mount a rally. Eventually the Saints would pull in front for good and topple the Bobcats by four, 96-92.
As a team, the Bobcats held the edge in a few key statistical categories. Lees-McRae shot 81.8 from the free throw line on 22 attempts compared to Limestone's 66.7 percent clip on 15 tries. Additionally, the Bobcats also out-rebounded the Saints 47-33 and outpaced them in regards to second chance points, 29-10.
Individually, the Bobcats were led by the tandem Haynes and Gardner. Haynes scored a team-high 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the field, while Gardner netted 21 points in 29 minutes of action. Quay Kimble also finished the night in double figures with 15 points, and Anthony Hicks chipped in 13 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Lees-McRae will look to get back in the win column next Wednesday when it travels to league rival King University in another Conference Carolinas matchup. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Tornado is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.