Women's Basketball

Blankenship, Collins Spark Offense; Defense Stymies Erskine in Win, 76-69

Blankenship, Collins Spark Offense; Defense Stymies Erskine in Win, 76-69

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Senior Tayler Collins and sophomore Mackenzie Blankenship tallied season-highs while the Lees-McRae women's basketball team earned a 76-69 win against Conference Carolinas foe Erskine Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Bobcats (1-7, 1-3 CC) earned their first win on the season while dishing out 20 assists and forcing 21 turnovers. The Flying Fleet (0-7, 0-3) had three players with 17 points or more, but struggled with a 22.6% mark from the field in the first half.

Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Blankenship (Johnson City, Tenn.) paced the offense with 19 and 17 points, respectively.

Coach Michele Williams' team shot 80% from the charity stripe while holding EC to seven points in the second quarter.

The Flying Fleet scurried out to a quick 8-3 lead following a pair of threes from Raygon Hendrix in the first 1:18.

Hendrix finished with 17 points and six assists.

The Bobcats responded with a 14-1 run to end the opening quarter while Markia Stacey (Morganton, N.C.) chipped in with five points.

She finished the game with 10 points and a game-high eight assists.

Both offenses struggled in the second quarter. LMC's Taylor Fluette (Burlington, N.C.) knocked down a jumper with 8:10 remaining in the frame before EC's defense clamped down and held the Bobcats without a field goal for the rest of the quarter.

The Flying Fleet offense was stymied and held without a point for the last 4:17.

Blankenship got rolling in the third quarter and scored LMC's first 10 points before a Lexus Norwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) three-pointer gave the home squad a 45-33 advantage.

EC's Naomi Stuger scored a bucket with 3:24 left in the third to cut the deficit to eight, 48-40.

Stuger produced an impressive double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Freshman Breana Hardnett (Greensboro, N.C.) scored all four of her points in the fourth before another Blankenship triple kept the lead at 10, 66-56.

EC's Kristen Giles and Tametra Willis splashed shots from deep before Stuger hit a pair from the free throw line for EC's final charge, 72-66.

The Bobcats staved off the rally with clutch shooting from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds to earn the win.

LMC's defense held EC to 31.1% from the field.

The Flying Fleet chucked up 30 three-point attempts compared to the Bobcats 12.

LMC travels to Lander Monday, Dec. 14 for a nonconference battle in Greenwood, S.C. at 5:30 p.m.

- LMC -