Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team will close out its regular season this week with a pair of Conference Carolinas games. First, the Bobcats will host Erskine Wednesday night in their final home game of the season. After that tilt, Lees-McRae will hit the road Saturday for a matchup at Belmont Abbey. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tip-off times on their respective dates.
Last time out – Lees-McRae came out on the losing side of a 97-78 final score last Saturday against Barton College. The loss pushed Lees-McRae's record to 10-16 overall and 6-10 in conference action.
One last push – Currently, the Bobcats sit in the eighth and final playoff spot for the upcoming Conference Carolinas Tournament. Lees-McRae could finish anywhere from fifth to eighth in the league standings depending upon how it does and the how the rest of the league fares over the final days of the regular season.
Steals for the sophomore – With 55 steals this season, sophomore Quay Kimble currently leads Conference Carolinas in that category. If Kimble can rack up four or more steals in the final few games for the Bobcats, he will enter the top 10 single-season steal list for the program.
About Wednesday's game – There will be several events surrounding Wednesday's game. First, it's a WHITE OUT, where everyone is encouraged to wear white. There will be t-shirts given away as well. It's also Faculty and Staff night along with National Girls and Women in Sport Day with a tribute to all LMC female employees, who have participated in athletics in their lifetime. Finally, at halftime there will be a special presentation honoring Veronica Laughton for her National Championship during mountain bike nationals along with honoring the college's first Conference Champion in swimming, Arsham Mirzaei.
About the opponents – Erskine has had a bounce back season in 2018-19 after barely scratching into the conference tournament a year ago. The Flying Fleet are currently 13-10 overall and 8-7 in league action. Erskine relies heavily on five players in particular in Austin Venable, Jordan Watson, Tyler Brevard, Jaywaun Washington and Trent Smooth Jr. 83 percent of Erskine's offense comes from these five players.
Belmont Abbey has been at or near the top of the conference all season long. The Crusaders are currently second in the league with a record of 19-6 overall and 12-3 in league games. Individually, DeQuan Abrom leads the Crusaders averaging 24.3 points per game.
Series history vs. opponents – Lees-McRae has seen plenty of Erskine and Belmont Abbey over the years with both being rivals within the conference. The Bobcats are 12-16 against Erskine since 2006 and 10-19 against Belmont Abbey during the same time frame.