MISENHEIMER, N.C. --- The senior duo of Kabrina Truesdale and Kerri Belcher combined for 35 points while the Lees-McRae women's basketball team dropped a nailbiter, 66-63, at Pfeiffer in Conference Carolinas action Saturday evening at Merner Gym in Misenheimer, N.C.
The Falcons (6-19, 5-16 CC) saw an impressive performance from Safia Sheikh off the bench with 18 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks. The Bobcats (6-21, 5-16) forced 21 turnovers while Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) produced her seventh 20-point game on the season with a 22-point effort.
LMC and PU are in a virtual tie for the eighth seed and final spot in the Conference Carolinas Women's Basketball Tournament. LMC must beat King (Tenn.) and have PU lose to Belmont Abbey on Tuesday. If both teams win or lose, PU holds the tiebreaker.
Both teams exchanged buckets early and often while Truesdale and Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) powered the Bobcats to a 12-12 tie with 11:42 remaining in the first.
Collins finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Consecutive triples from Sheikh allowed PU to build a five-point lead, 28-23.
Truesdale and Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) knocked down jumpers to shave the deficit to one, but the Falcons' Brittney Washington used a layup with three ticks on the clock to give PU the three point lead at halftime.
The Falcons had a quartet of players in double digits on the night.
LMC would methodically build a 10-point lead by holding PU without a point for a span of 6:06.
Sheikh splashed one of her five three-pointers at the 8:15 mark to cut the deficit to two, 50-48.
PU would retake the lead and not give it back thanks to an 11-0 run, 61-54.
Sophomore Niroska Perez (Asheville, N.C.) continued her season long mastery behind the arc with a clutch three at the 2:22 mark.
PU hit three free throws down the stretch and would hold on for the win despite a Truesdale triple at the buzzer.
Belcher finished with 13 points in what could be her penultimate game in a Bobcat uniform while leading the team with nine rebounds.
LMC scored 21 points off of turnovers in a game that saw eight ties and 11 lead changes.
The Bobcats conclude regular season play at CC foe King (Tenn.) Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. in Bristol, Tenn.
- LMC -