Women's Basketball

Bobcats claw Mountain Lions, 64-57

Bobcats claw Mountain Lions, 64-57

Photo by Dave Mayo

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team placed four players in double figures, and converted 23-of-27 chances at the free throw line to rally for a 64-57 win over Young Harris College in non-conference play on Tuesday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

The win marks Lees-McRae's (2-2) second straight victory, as the Bobcats converted 85 percent of their attempts from the free throw line, and knocked down 40.9 percent of their attempts from the floor in the second half. Young Harris (0-2) posted a field goal percentage of 47.1 percent in the contest, including a 59 percent clip in the first half, while edging the Bobcats on the glass by a 29-27 margin.

The Bobcats converted 29 Mountain Lion turnovers into 29 points in a game that featured nine ties and 17 lead changes, with no margin ever surpassing eight points.

Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, as Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) added 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and a career-high seven steals.

Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) each tallied 12 points, while Truesdale chipped in five steals. Truesdale and Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) chipped in game-highs of five assists and six rebounds, respectively.

Peyton Robertson led the way for Young Harris with a game-high 16 points, adding contest-bests of six boards and two blocks, while Lauren Smith added 11 points and four steals. Shaquaya Daniels chipped in nine points and three assists.

Young Harris jumped out to an early 7-5 lead before the Bobcats responded, launching a 12-6 run to claim a four-point advantage on a Lewis triple with 11:15 left on the clock. The Mountain Lions countered with a 12-3 spurt of their own, opening a 25-20 margin following a Smith jumper at the 7:31 mark.

The Bobcats battled back with a 9-6 stretch over the final seven minutes of the period, closing the gap to 31-29 heading into the intermission on a trey by Lewis. After Young Harris opened the half with two quick buckets, Lees-McRae countered with an 11-4 spurt, claiming a narrow 40-39 lead following a Belcher lay-in with 11:32 to play.

The teams would trade the lead several times over the next few minutes, with Young Harris taking a 47-44 advantage on a put-back by Kaycee Cash at the 8:32 mark. Lees-McRae responded with some superb free-throw shooting, converting nine of their next 10 freebies to open a 55-51 lead with 5:10 left on the clock.

The Bobcats would hold on from there, limiting the Mountain Lions to three points in the final four minutes as Natalija Cakarevic (Belgrade, Serbia) capped the night's scoring with her team's final five points, including a clutch three-point play at the 2:22 mark.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats complete the away leg of the home-and-home series with Young Harris at 2 p.m. in Young Harris, Ga.

- LMC -