BELMONT, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team battled tough but ultimately fell on the road at Belmont Abbey College Saturday night in Conference Carolinas action, 98-95. The loss pushes Lees-McRae's record to 8-3 overall and 1-2 in conference action.
The opening 20 minutes of Saturday's contest was competitive between the Bobcats and Crusaders. Belmont Abbey shot an impressive 52.5 percent from the field compared to a 42.4 percent mark by Lees-McRae. BAC's offense was mainly close to the basket as 36 of its 50 points in the first half were made from inside the paint. With the inside game working so well, Belmont Abbey held a 50-42 lead on the Bobcats at the halftime break.
It looked like on a couple occasions that the Crusaders would run away from the Bobcats. First, Belmont Abbey opened a 12-point lead with a little over 18 minutes to go. The Bobcats chipped away at the Crusader lead and eventually tied the game at 63 with 11:39 to go. Belmont Abbey would again put together another run to regain a double-digit lead with 4:17 remaining.
LMC again erased Belmont Abbey's lead finished off by an Andrew Gardner three-pointer with 16 seconds to go to tie the game at 95 and he was fouled on the shot. Gardner missed the free throw that would've put the Bobcats in the lead. Belmont Abbey went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to go up 96-95. Lees-McRae then had a shot to go ahead but the shot attempt rimmed out with one second to go before BAC closed out the game with two made free throws.
Lees-McRae finished the night with four players in double figures. Quay Kimble and Kamil Williams led the way with 19 and 18 points, respectively. The duo of Jason Saintizaire and Gardner both had 17-point outings in the contest.
Lees-McRae will wrap up the 2019 portion of its schedule on Wednesday as it visits Southern Wesleyan in a key Conference Carolinas matchup. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.