BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Sophomore Niroska Perez dropped a team-high 14 points while senior Kerri Belcher produced a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, but the Lees-McRae women's basketball suffered a 56-53 loss to Mount Olive in a tightly contested Conference Carolinas game Sunday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Trojans (4-8, 2-4 CC) took advantage of an LMC mishap in the waning seconds while Arieal Johnson dominated with 21 points and 18 rebounds. The Bobcats (3-9, 2-4) held UMO with a three point field goal while Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) contributed 10 points apiece.
UMO's Ty Wallace registered a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds while the Trojans snuck out the win despite shooting 38.1% from the field.
An Olivia Unger (Lutz, Fla.) three and Truesdale jumper gave LMC its largest lead of the day with 12:37 remaining in the opening half, 17-10.
UMO responded with a 10-2 run over the next 4:07 to take a slim one-point lead following a pair of Johnson buckets.
Perez connected on one of her four three-pointers with 1:01 on the clock while Coach Michele Williams' defense didn't allow a point for the final 2:36.
Perez didn't slow down by knocking another three early in the second half to tie it at 31.
The game saw 14 lead changes and 12 ties.
Neither team could create much breathing room while it remained tight throughout.
Collins hit a timely jumper with 1:07 to knot it at 52.
Johnson delivered the decisive blow with 44 seconds remaining with a jumper before Shylia Buie sealed it with a pair free throws with under 10 seconds on the clock.
Truesdale had a game-high five assists and Collins stuffed three shots.
LMC's defense was aggressive throughout the game and forced 26 turnovers.
The Bobcats travel to Emmanuel (Ga.) for a CC tilt on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Franklin Springs, Ga.
- LMC -