BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lees-McRae senior Lauren Lewis matched a season-high with 24 points while sophomore Alyssa Munson recorded her third double-double of the season to help LMC jump out to a 22-5 lead on its way to a 84-72 victory against Barton in Conference Carolina at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bobcats (7-8, 4-2 CC) are on a season-high three-game win streak while leading wire-to-wire and defeating Barton for the first time since 2005. The Bulldogs (7-7, 4-2) saw their three-game win streak snapped despite a 22-point effort from Nyeshea Willie.
LMC scored early and often while sprinting out to a 7-0 lead in the first 2:36 of the game following a pair of treys from Lewis (Concord, N.C.).
The Bobcats didn't back down while they extended the lead to a healthy 17 points, 22-5, after a pair of Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) free throws at the 8:47 mark. Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) chipped in with four points during the run.
The Bulldogs Tiffany Webster scored six points in a two minute span to help shave the deficit to eight, 28-20, but a Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) three-point play stretched the Bobcat lead back to 15 moments later.
The Bobcats held a solid 39-26 lead at the half after holding BC to 30.3% from the field and 0-7 from three-point range. LMC shot 43.3% in the first 20 minutes and knocked down 10 free-throws.
Willie connected one of her two three-pointers at the 12 minute mark to cut the LMC lead to six, 49-43.
However, senior Icey Patterson (Seneca S.C.) connected on a three, converted two free-throws and registered an assist to help the Bobcat squad extend the lead back to 12, 68-56.
The Bulldogs wouldn't back down when a Shatisha Dukes layup made it 71-65 in LMC's favor with 1:57 on the clock.
Patterson drained another three before the Bobcats iced the game with free throws from Munson and Lewis.
LMC forced 18 turnovers and won the battle on the boards, 44-37. Munson impressed with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Belcher nearly missed a double-double (8 points, 11 rebounds).
The charity line was busy in the second half as both teams took 20 shots for it while the Bobcats shot an impressive 50% from the floor in the final 20 minutes. BC shot 33.3% from the floor and went 4-of-22 from long range.
The Bobcats wrap up a four-game homestand when North Greenville visits the friendly confines of Williams Gymnasium in a Conference Carolina battle Saturday at 2 p.m.
- LMC -