MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – In search of its first win at Mount Olive in over a decade, the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team nearly pulled it off but fell just short Saturday night as the Trojans edged the Bobcats, 74-73. The loss moves LMC's record to 4-8 overall and 1-5 in Conference Carolinas play.
Both squads began Saturday's contest with a ton of energy as UMO and LMC held the lead at times in the opening frame. The Trojans netted a layup as time expired in the first quarter to take a 20-19 lead into the second. After a hard fought opening quarter, the Bobcats went on a run to open up a 10-point lead on Mount Olive. UMO would rally to not only tie the score but also take the lead as the two teams went to the locker with the Trojans leading 45-43.
The third quarter began much like the previous two frames. Mount Olive, however, was able to close out the third quarter on an 8-0 run to pull in front of LMC, 61-55. Facing a six point deficit, the Bobcats clawed back on a few different to get within one possession of UMO. With just 12 seconds to go, Mackenzie Blankenship connected on a three-pointer to make the score 74-73 UMO. A backcourt violation by the Trojans followed, which gave the Bobcats an opportunity to win the game with 6.7 seconds remaining. Brea Forbes took a jumper from around the free throw line but it rimmed out as the clock hit zeroes giving the Trojans the slim one-point victory.
Lees-McRae was led Saturday by its freshmen. Karli Mason led all Bobcat scorers with 18 points. All 18 of Mason's points came via the three-pointer. Fellow freshman Meg Crawford put forth her best statistical performance of her young collegiate career scoring a career-high 16 points and adding seven rebounds. Markia Stacey also finished in double figures against the Trojans with 13 points.
The Bobcats will have a few days to prepare for their next contest at King (Tenn.) University Wednesday night. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. from Bristol, Tenn.