Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – With the regular season winding down, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team will look to boost its postseason position this week with a pair of critical league games on the docket. First, the Bobcats will head down the mountain to Bristol, Tennessee to take on rival King University Wednesday. After that meeting, the Bobcats will return home to face off against Barton Saturday afternoon. Tip-off times for this week are set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Saturday.
Last time out - The Bobcats fell at Limestone last Wednesday by a score of 96-92. The loss moved Lees-McRae's record to 10-14 overall and 6-8 within Conference Carolinas play.
Postseason push – If the regular season were to end today, the Bobcats would be the No. 7 seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Lees-McRae currently sits a half-game ahead of its opponent Wednesday, King, who is currently eighth. However, the Bobcats are just a game-and-a-half out of the No. 5 spot and three games behind Mount Olive for the No. 4 seed.
Flashback February – The Bobcats hope that this February will serve them as well as last February did. Lees-McRae went 6-1 in 2018's second month on its way to not only winning its first ever postseason game but also its first conference tournament championship.
Lone Senior – Prior to Saturday's game against Barton, the Bobcats will honor the lone senior on this season's team, Malik Wright. Wright, who has appeared in 55 games during his two seasons in the Green and Gold, has moved into a starting role this season after being used mainly off the bench in 2017-18.
About the Opponents – King comes into Wednesday's game with the Bobcats with a record of 12-11 overall and 5-8 within the conference. A player to watch for the Tornado Wednesday is James Brown who is averaging a team-high 14.4 points per game this season.
Barton, meanwhile, comes into the week third in the league standings with a record of 10-4 and 17-7 overall. The Bulldogs will bring a potent offense to Banner Elk Saturday as they are averaging 89.5 points per game, shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range.
Series History vs. Opponents – Lees-McRae has seen both King and Barton already this season. The Bobcats upended the Tornado 74-70 in mid-January in Banner Elk. The Bulldogs, however, defeated the Bobcats 123-91 back on January 2. Since 2006. Lees-McRae is 3-12 against King and 6-21 against Barton.