The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats hosted Belmont Abbey College Thursday evening in Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference action, defeating the visiting Lady Crusaders 76-73 in overtime. The Lady Bobcats improve to 7-13, (5-8 CVAC) while Abbey falls to 8-12, (5-9 CVAC).
The Lady Bobcats jumped out to an early 8-2 lead before the Lady Crusaders closed the gap to one. The home side would again jump ahead, extending their lead to as much as nine before Abbey would fight back and tie the score at 27 with 3:59 to play in the half. The final four minutes would spell disaster for Lees-McRae as the Lady Crusaders rode their momentum to a 14-2 run, taking a comfortable 41-29 lead into halftime.
The Lady Crusaders seemed to be in control, maintaining a ten point cushion for much of the second half, before the Lady Bobcats finally began to claw back. With four and a half minutes to play, the Lady Bobcats had tied things up at 60. Each team made a pair of field goals and went three of four from the charity stripe while also missing their respective attempts from behind the arc, going into overtime tied at 67.
In overtime, Victoria Valentin's three pointer set the pace for the Lady Bobcats, who led the entire overtime, after the opening tip off. Abbey's Kelsey Daniel took things upon herself, scoring three consecutive field goals for her team to keep the Lady Crusaders in the game, but the Lady Bobcats rode Valentin's opening trey and the solid leadership of senior captain Taukia Hughes. After splitting her attempts at the free throw line, Hughes pulled down the game's biggest rebound after Abbey again put the ball in the hot hands of Daniel. Sent to the line again, Hughes, (pictured top left), made good on both of her attempts, giving the Lady Bobcats the three point win, 76-73.
Stephanie Mullinax and Dianca Jones led the Lady Bobcats with 16 points each. Hughes and Ashley Coley contributed 13 and 12 points respectively. Jones also pulled down a team high 8 rebounds.
Marie Marquez led Abbey with 14 points while Daniel and Jeanette Johansson added 12 apiece. Hannah Lunt drained 11 points and also added a game high 14 rebounds while fellow forward Amy Mulnix contributed ten points and ten rebounds.
The Lady Bobcats will return to action this Saturday when they travel to Mount Olive for the first of four consecutive road games. Tip off is set for 2:00pm.