Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team gave top-seeded Emmanuel College a battle but ultimately fell to the Lions in the first round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament Tuesday night, 81-70. The loss puts a close on Lees-McRae's 2018-19 season with a record of 11-18.
Neither team gained much of advantage in the opening 20 minutes of play. Both squads had stints with the lead with the largest lead being seven points by the Bobcats with 13:31 to go. Lees-McRae did shoot 50 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from three-point range in the first half. Even with these shooting numbers, Emmanuel and Lees-McRae went into the halftime break tied at 34.
The second half was one of runs. First, Emmanuel went on an 8-0 run to begin the half to go up 42-34. Credit the Bobcats as they rallied to go ahead of the Lions with 12 minutes to go in regulation. However, with the score tied at 52, Emmanuel went on another lengthy 16-4 run to pull away from the Bobcats before ultimately winning the contest, 81-70.
In what proved to be his final game in a Lees-McRae uniform, Malik Wright paced the Bobcats scoring 17 points Tuesday. Quay Kimble also scored 17, while the freshman duo of Kerry Richardson and Anthony Hicks finished in double figures as well with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The loss puts a wrap on the 2018-19 season for the Bobcats. Lees-McRae is scheduled to return a wealth of experience for the 2019-20 campaign as they are scheduled to return everyone from this season's team with exception of senior Malik Wright.