Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BELMONT, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team led by as many as 14 points Wednesday night at Belmont Abbey, but it was the Crusaders who came out on top as they defeated LMC, 77-69. The loss moves LMC's record to 6-14 overall and 3-11 in league action.
Both teams struggled to find any luck offensively in the opening minutes. At the first media timeout, the Bobcats led 4-3, and the two squads combined to shoot just 2-for-19 from the field. The two teams started to find themselves after the break with the Bobcats holding a 14-12 lead on the Crusaders after one quarter.
Holding a two-point advantage over Belmont Abbey, the Bobcats turned to their three-point shooting in the second quarter to maintain their lead. Of the 20 points Lees-McRae totaled in the second quarter, 15 came via the three-pointer. The long distance shooting was enough for LMC to stay ahead of BAC for the majority of the second stanza as it held a 34-30 lead when the two teams headed to the locker room for halftime.
Trailing by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, Belmont Abbey seemingly flipped a switch and quickly erased the Bobcat lead to take the lead late in the frame. However, Markia Stacey connected on a three-pointer in the final seconds to give LMC the advantage heading to the fourth, 54-51.
The momentum that the Crusaders generated in the third quarter carried over to the fourth. BAC quickly pulled ahead of the Bobcats and never looked back as it went on to down the Bobcats, 77-69.
Junior Breana Hardnett scored a season-high 21 points Wednesday night to lead the Bobcats on the scoreboard. Stacey also had a stellar performance statistically with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Meg Crawford rounded out the double figure scorers for LMC Wednesday as she scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field.
Next up for the Bobcats is a trip to Erskine on Saturday afternoon. LMC defeated the Flying Fleet earlier this season, 74-68, when the two teams matched up in Banner Elk. Tip-off for Saturday's game is set for 2 p.m.