January 8, 2013

Bobcats ground Valkyries, 71-49, for third straight win

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Junior Layana de Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) poured in a game-high 17 points to lead four players in double figures, as the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team registered its second consecutive Conference Carolinas victory with a 71-49 win over Converse College on Tuesday evening.

Lees-McRae (4-5, 2-4 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 41 percent on the night, including a 48.4 percent clip in the first half, while holding Converse (0-10, 0-6 CC) to a mark of 31 percent from the floor. Each team grabbed 40 rebounds in the contest, as Lees-McRae edged Converse by a 26-24 margin on the defensive boards while converting 28 Valkyrie turnovers into 31 points.

De Souza paced the Bobcats with a game-high 17 points, connecting on 5-of-8 attempts from the floor while posting a perfect 7-for-7 night from the charity stripe. Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.) added 15 points with a trio of three-pointers off the bench, while Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) nearly chipped in a double-double with 14 markers and seven rebounds.

Junior Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) knocked down three triples of her own to post 13 points, as Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) added a team-high nine boards and Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) tallied a season-best seven steals.

Amber Mooney led the way for Converse with 13 points, while Kai McCorvey nearly added a double-double with eight markers and a game-high 11 rebounds. Avery Winchester chipped in six points, six boards, and a game-high three blocks.

The Bobcats never trailed in the contest, taking an early 10-2 lead on a Munson lay-in with 16:40 left in the first half. Lees-McRae would continue to dictate the tempo over the next 10 minutes, pushing the lead to 29-12 on back-to-back triples by Flowers, capping a 12-2 run with just five minutes remaining on the clock. Lewis closed out the half in style for the Bobcats, stretching the advantage to 40-24 with a last-second steal and a basket.

Lees-McRae opened the second half on a 10-6 run, widening the margin to 50-30 on a clutch three-point play by de Souza with 13:39 to play. Belcher added an and-one at the 9:20 mark to push the lead to 58-37, before the Bobcats closed out the win with a 9-5 spurt over the final two and a half minutes to equal the decisive margin of 71-49.

The Bobcats return to the court on Saturday when they host Queens University of Charlotte in league play at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -