CENTRAL, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team closed out 2019 with a 106-102 victory at Southern Wesleyan University in double overtime Wednesday evening. The win pushes Lees-McRae's record to 9-3 overall and 2-2 in league action.
The opening 20 minutes of Wednesday's contest were competitive between the Bobcats and Warriors. It seemed like whenever Lees-McRae looked like it may start running away that SWU knocked down a key shot to stop the LMC run. Even with the best efforts from Southern Wesleyan, Quay Kimble's 17 points and a rebounding edge of 25-15 for the Bobcats helped them take a 45-36 advantage heading to the locker room for halftime.
Late in the second half it looked like Lees-McRae had the game well in hand as it led SWU by 11 points, 77-66. Southern Wesleyan, however, stormed back to tie the score at 77 with 4:18 to go in regulation. LMC answered SWU's run to build its lead back out to eight at 85-77 thanks to a three-pointer made by Jerick Haynes. The Warriors would not yield though as it pulled in front briefly with 17 seconds to go at 87-85 before the Bobcats made a layup to tie the score and force overtime.
Playing in their first overtime game of the season, the Bobcats struggled from the field in the extra periods shooting a combined 28.6 percent. However, Kimble netted 10 of the team's 19 points during the extra sessions to help pull the Bobcats through and to the 106-102 victory.
Kimble finished the contest with a career-high 38 points on Wednesday. Kimble's 38 points are the most for a Bobcat since Andrew Gardner netted 31 points last season against Mount Olive. Joining Kimble in double figures were the trio of Haynes (16 points), Jason Saintizaire (14 points) and Anthony Hicks (12 points). Additionally, Gardner finished the night with a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.
Lees-McRae will now break for the holidays before returning to action on January 2 when it visits Erskine College in its first Conference Carolinas game of 2020. Tip-off for that contest is set for 7:30 p.m.