Bobcats Kruz to 83-39 win over Converse

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Freshman Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) turned in season-highs of 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team to a decisive 83-39 win over Converse College in Conference Carolinas play on Monday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

Lees-McRae (8-10, 6-9 CC) shot 46.2 percent from the floor in the contest, including a 52.4 percent clip in the second half, while holding Converse (0-19, 0-15 CC) to a field goal percentage of 30 percent on the night.

The Bobcats won the battle on the glass in dominating fashion, outmuscling the Valkyries by a 46-32 margin on the boards, including a 16-6 advantage on the offensive end. Lees-McRae demonstrated perhaps its best ball movement of the season, tallying an assist on 28-of-36 made field goals while converting 30 Converse miscues into 29 points.

Every player that saw the floor scored for the Bobcats in the contest, lead by Layana De Souza's (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) game-high 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) added 14 points, as Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) each chipped in 13 markers.

Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) nearly tallied a double-double with seven assists and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Truesdale posted contest-bests of eight assists and six steals to go along with 10 boards.

Samira Gillcrese came up just short of a double-double for the Valkyries, posting team-highs of nine boards and eight points, as Brooke Garrison and Kayla Garrett each tallied eight markers.

The Bobcats never trailed in the contest, jumping out to an early 10-2 lead on a Lewis jumper with 14:54 to go in the first half. After Converse answered with a 5-0 spurt to trim the margin to 10-7, Lees-McRae countered with a 13-5 run, pushing the advantage to 23-12 following a triple and a jumper by Lewis at the 7:26 mark.

Lees-McRae would close out the half with an 8-4 spurt, stretching the lead to 31-16 heading into the intermission after De Souza banked in a layup with just under a minute to go in the period. The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 26-3 surge that was capped by a three-point play from Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) to push the lead to 57-19 at the 11:16 mark.

Smith and the Bobcats would close out the win from there, finishing the night with a 26-20 run over the last 11 minutes of play to equal the final of 83-39 on a late lay-in by Emily Brown (Winston-Salem, N.C.).

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Mount Olive, N.C. to take on Mount Olive College at 5 p.m. in conference play, with a chance to sweep the season series with the Trojans for the first time in more than eight years.

- LMC -