Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team will look to defend its Conference Carolinas Tournament title Tuesday night when it visits top-seeded Emmanuel College in the quarterfinal round of this season's conference tournament. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Lions is set for 7 p.m.
Last time out – The Bobcats closed out their regular season with a 97-76 loss at Belmont Abbey College back on February 23. The loss put a wrap on Lees-McRae's regular season record at 11-17 overall and 7-11 in league action.
Statistical titles for the regular season – With the regular season now wrapped up, the Bobcats had a pair of players lead the league in two different categories. Quay Kimble led the conference averaging 2.1 steals per game, while Andrew Gardner led the league shooting 87.4 percent from the free throw line. Furthermore, Gardner's shooting percentage from the line was the second-best in program history for a single season.
About the Tournament Field – In addition to the matchup involving the eighth-seeded Bobcats and top-seeded Lions, the three other quarterfinal games will also take place Tuesday night. The other first round matchups are: No. 2 Belmont Abbey vs. No. 7 Limestone, No. 3 Barton vs. No. 6 King and No. 4 Mount Olive vs. No. 5 Erskine. The four winners of these games will convene Saturday and Sunday on the campus of the highest remaining seed for the semifinals and championship game. The winner of the championship game will receive an automatic bid in the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament.
About Emmanuel – The Lions finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 22-9 record overall and a 15-3 mark within Conference Carolinas play. Emmanuel is led by Conference Carolinas Player of the Year candidate Kendrick Colvin. Colvin is averaging 19.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season.
Series Rewind – Lees-McRae has played Emmanuel tough this season despite the Lions coming out on top in both matchups. Emmanuel won the matchup in Franklin Springs, 91-88, before knocking off the Bobcats 91-82 in Banner Elk. The Bobcats are 2-8 all-time against Emmanuel and this will be the first ever postseason matchup between the two programs.