BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Sophomore Mackenzie Blankenship dropped a career-high 20 points and Brea Forbes impressed with 19 points and 14 rebounds, but the Lees-McRae women's basketball team fell short to No. 7 Limestone, 82-60, in a Conference Carolinas tilt Wednesday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Saints (13-0, 8-0 CC) remain perfect on the year after forcing 26 turnovers and an 18-point performance from Jasmine Kearse. The Bobcats (4-11, 3-5) saw Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) amass career-highs in points and rebounds.
Blankenship (Johnson City, Tenn.) connected on three three-point shots and went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.
LMC doubled up LC early, 8-4, and forced a timeout after an offensive rebound and put-back bucket by Forbes.
The Saints' Imani Atkinson scored four of her 15 points and sparked a 6-0 run towards the end of the first quarter.
Forbes tallied LMC's final four points of the frame while the Saints held a 20-17 edge.
Blankenship scored eight of her points in the second quarter, including going a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
Kearse hit a shot with three seconds on the clock to give LC a 39-32 lead at the intermission.
The Saints began to pull away following a 12-2 run in the third, while Victoria Marshall scored seven consecutive points during the stretch, 51-34.
Marshall finished with 13 points and a team-high five assists.
Blankenship notched six more points and sophomore Caitlin Brown (Kingstown, N.C.) connected on a jumper to cut the deficit to 11, 53-42.
Brown finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
LC's Maurissa Lester and Amber Wright combined for 14 of the Saints first 17 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Bobcats at arm's length.
Forbes scored two of LMC's four buckets in the final stanza.
Coach Michele Williams' squad crashed the glass with a +9 (47-38) advantage.
The Bobcats welcome Emmanuel (Ga.) for a CC battle Saturday, Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -