WILSON, N.C. --- Lees-McRae senior Lauren Lewis continued her torrid stretch with a 22-point outburst, but a sluggish start hampered LMC in a 66-63 loss at Barton in Conference Carolinas play Saturday afternoon at Wilson Gymnasium in Wilson, N.C.
The Bulldogs (10-12, 7-7 CC) saw Nyeshea Willie explode for 29 points while the defense held LMC to 25.9% from the floor in the first half. The Bobcats (11-12, 8-6) trailed all 40 minutes despite three starters posting double figures.
Willie scored the games' first eight points while Barton's defense didn't allow a field goal for the first 6:31 of the game.
Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) scored all four of her points in a matter of 53 seconds to cut the deficit to one, 10-9.
BC's Tiffany Webster scored on a layup to stretch the Bulldog lead to nine, 23-14, forcing a LMC timeout.
Lewis (Concord, N.C.) drained a three to cut it to four, 23-19, with 4:15 remaining, but the Bobcat offense fell cold until a Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) with 43 seconds left in the first half made it 29-23.
Both squads struggled from long range going a combined 4-for-17 in the first 20 minutes.
Senior Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) connected on a pair of free-throws before Lewis splashed one of her six three-pointers at the 15:00 mark to make it 36-34 in BC's favor.
The Bulldogs gained momentum thanks to a 21-13 run after Ashley Thornton and Willie hit consecutive triples to take their largest lead of the game, 57-46.
BC's Shatisha Dukes got a layup to roll in to keep LMC at bay with 4:14 remaining, 62-52.
Truesdale and Lewis connected on three consecutive baskets to shave the deficit to three, 66-63; however a pair of LMC last second three's fell short.
Lewis recorded her second consecutive 20-point effort while Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) impressed with 11 points and seven boards. Truesdale chipped in with 10 points and a game-high four steals.
Besides Willie, Webster (10) was the only Bulldog to register double figures while Brianna Thomas grabbed six rebounds.
Both teams shot 35.3% from the floor while LMC forced 19 turnovers.
The Bobcats return to action Monday at 5:30 when they travel to North Greenville in Tigersville, S.C. This is a rescheduled game from Wednesday, Feb. 12.
- LMC -