BELMONT, N.C. --- Mackenzie Blankenship and Brea Forbes set career highs in points and senior Tayler Collins turned in a double-double while the Lees-McRae women's basketball team battered Belmont Abbey, 90-70, in Conference Carolinas action at the Wheeler Center Wednesday evening in Belmont, N.C.
The Bobcats (8-18, 7-12 CC) played their best game of the season by shooting 59.3% from the field while Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) dominated down low with four blocks. The Crusaders (7-18, 6-13) had a trio of players with 14 points or more, but the team only hit two three pointers in the contest.
Collins amassed 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Blankenship (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas) combined 17-for-28 from the field. Forbes led all scorers while turning a personal-best 26 points. Blankenship impressed with a 25-point effort and dished out six assists.
Forbes and Collins scored the team's first eight points, staking LMC to an 8-2 lead after 89 seconds of play.
Freshman Markia Stacey (Morganton, N.C.) and Blankenship drained consecutive triples to push the lead to nine, 16-7.
BAC responded with a 13-2 run thanks to a pair of Taylor Gittings' layups.
Stacey ended the quarter on a 5-0 run, giving the Bobcats a 23-20 advantage.
Coach Michele Williams' defense suffocated the opposition by allowing one made field goal in the final 5:08 of the half while a pair of Blankenship threes made it 41-33 at the break.
LMC shot a staggering 64% in the first 20 minutes.
Leading 43-37, Forbes and Stacey sparked a 13-0 run in a span of 3:22.
The Bobcats led by 13 after three despite a pair of buckets from Gittings.
Freshman Nila Hellams (Richmond, Va.) made the most of her time and sank three crucial free throws with 4:18 remaining in regulation to push LMC's lead to 17, 73-56.
Forbes stamped the impressive win with an eight-point outburst in 1:26 while Stacey and Blankenship earned two assists apiece during the spurt.
The Crusaders' Gabrielle Bethel led her squad with a 17-point, 12-rebound effort.
Stacey tallied 18 points and a game-high eight assists.
LMC travels to Emmanuel (Ga.) Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. for a CC battle in Franklin Springs, Ga.
- LMC -