BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Sophomore Niroska Perez tied a season-high with 23 points and junior Tayler Collins scored a season-high 19 while the Lees-McRae women's basketball team suffered a 96-83 loss to North Greenville in Conference Carolinas action on Senior Day at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Crusaders (11-14, 10-9 CC) saw six players' net double figures, led by Alisha Hope's 15-point effort. The Bobcats (5-20, 4-15) used a double-double (14 points, 10 assists) from senior Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) while LMC's 83 points was the second highest mark this season.
Truesdale and Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) were honored prior to the contest. Belcher dropped 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Both offenses exchanged buckets for the first six minutes while a Hope jumper gave NGU a slim 13-11 lead.
Perez (Asheville, N.C.) ripped net on a pair of three before Belcher jumper at the 8:02 mark put LMC down one, 26-25.
NGU used a 10-0 run, powered by threes from Emily Wampler and Tyler Powers, to grab a 38-27 advantage.
Freshman Mackenzie Blankenship (Elizabethton, Tenn.) earned a pair of assists on consecutive Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) baskets, 42-34.
The Crusaders rattled off a 7-0 run to end the half to take a 51-36 lead into the locker room.
NGU shot a staggering 60% from the field in the first half while Belcher and Collins recorded eight points for LMC.
Truesdale netted five of her points in a 65-second span, but NGU's Paulette Addison chimed in with six to push the lead to 19, 72-53.
Perez ripped net on a three to cut the deficit to 17, but LMC's offense fell mum and would only score two buckets of the next four minutes.
The Bobcats hit three three-pointers in the last 2:29, including a surprising three from Collins as the buzzer sounded.
Belcher paced the team with nine rebounds.
The Bobcats conclude their home slate on Wednesday, Feb. 18 against Converse at 5:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -