February 19, 2014

Trio Thrives in Wire-to-Wire Win Over Mount Olive, 80-73

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- A trio of Lees-McRae women's basketball players netted at least 15 points in an enormous win against Mount Olive, 80-73, in Conference Carolinas play Wednesday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Bobcats (12-13, 9-7 CC) moved into a tie for fourth in conference standings and are only a game out of third while Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) notched her third 20-point game out of the last four. The Trojans (15-9, 10-6) struggled from the floor, shooting only 32.3% in the first half.

LMC continued to thrive at home (9-1) while holding Mount Olive to six points in the first 9:01 in the wire-to-wire victory. Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) connected on a jumper at the 15:23 mark, 10-3.

Senior Layana de Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) swiped a steal and rolled in a fast break layup to  give LMC its biggest lead of the night, 17-6.

The Bobcat offense caught fire and knocked down five consecutive shots, capped off by a Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) three-pointer at the with 2:49 remaining, 31-20. Lewis chimed in with five points during the spurt.

The Trojans responded with an 8-0 run to end the half after Andrea Jones and Kirsksten Mitchell connected on deep triples.

Lewis registered 14 points while going 6-of-8 in the first half. Mount Olive connected on four three-pointers.

The Trojans' Ty Wallace would strike for a quick bucket, following a block to open the second frame to cut the deficit to one, 31-30.

LMC responded with a 12-5 run thanks clutch shooting from Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) and Belcher.

Mitchell hit a pair of free-throws to make it 47-44, but LMC ripped off a 7-0 run to stretch it back to 10.

The Bobcats would hold the Trojans at arm's length until a Joneiqua Gary block and bucket shaved the lead to four, 63-59, with 4:26 on the clock.

Senior Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) got in the mix with a steal, rebound and bucket prior to a pair of made free-throws from Natalija Cakarevic (Belgrade, Serbia) pushed the lead to nine, 73-64.

The Trojans made it interesting by knocked down three three's over the next 40 seconds, but efficient free-throw shooting from Munson and Lewis iced the win.

Both teams scored often while both shot over 50% in the second half.

LMC dominated the boards (39-29).

Lewis led all scorers with 22 while Belcher (18) and Munson (16) recorded double figures. Patterson chipped in with nine points and two steals.

LMC welcomes Belmont Abbey Saturday at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium for Senior Day. Seniors Kasey Haynes (Mooresville, N.C.), Cakarevic, Lewis, Patterson and De Souza will be honored before the game.

- LMC -