Photo courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae women's basketball team dropped a tough non-conference bout on Monday (Nov. 19) to visiting Catawba at Williams Gymnasium by a score of 66-59.
First Quarter – LMC led 23-18 after 10 minutes, beginning with Meg Crawford and Keyotta Garris trading buckets in the first minute and a half. The two teams battled in single digits until the halfway point of the opening frame, before becoming deadlocked at 11 with four and a half minutes to play in the period. A Brea Forbes three-ball put the Bobcats up 14-11, before they extended their lead to five on a bucket from Markia Stacey. Meg Crawford would put the Bobcats up by seven with a layup, before Marissa Bruce ended the minute-long Indians drought with a bucket. With just over two minutes to play in the frame, a pair at the charity stripe from Crawford stretched the lead back to seven before the two teams would go silent for about the next minute. Another layup from Bruce and two free throws from Talia Barnes would get the Indians back within three, before the final points of the quarter for LMC would come on a triple from Stacey. Barnes would split a pair at the line to put the first quarter at its final score.
Second Quarter - The second quarter was a low-scoring affair, with Catawba edging LMC in the frame 12-7. The first bucket of the quarter came three and a half minutes in, when Emily Phillips scored to get Catawba back within three. Stacey would knock down two free throws after the halfway point of the quarter, before Taisha DeShazo's two free throws would counter for the Indians. An old-fashioned three-point play by Barnes with three and a half minutes left in the half would tie the game at 25, before two DeShazo free throws put the Indians ahead with under three minutes to play in the half. Alexis Ammons would count a bucket plus a free throw to put the Bobcats back up by one, before Shemya Stabeck's bucket put Catawba back up with a minute and a half to play. The two teams would head to the break tied at 30 thanks to a Lakitia Basnight layup and one free throw from Madison Hallman.
Third Quarter - Each team scored 18 points in the third quarter, leaving the game tied at 48 heading to the fourth. Two layups from Stacey and a bucket from Johnson along with free throws from Barnes and a layup from Stanbeck left the Bobcats up 36-34 two minutes in, before a two-minute cold spell eclipsed both teams. Stacey drilled a triple to get the Bobcats up by five, before a DeShazo jump shot got the Indians back within three. After the media timeout, the Indians would score on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 39, before scoring runs for both teams left them tied at 44 with two minutes to play in the quarter. Free throws and a triple from Mackenzie Blankenship left the Bobcats up by two with a minute and a half left, before the final points of the quarter came on a Barnes layup with 44 seconds left.
Fourth Quarter – LMC was held to just 11 points in the fourth quarter, as foul trouble caught up to the Bobcats and the Indians were able to cash in from the stripe. The Indians jumped out to a five-point lead early in the frame, before Blankenship made two of three at the stripe to get the game back to one possession. The two teams would again fall into a mutual cold spell that lasted about three minutes, before Forbes knocked down a jumper with just under six minutes to play to get the Bobcats back within one. A Barnes free throw left the game at 54-52 as the game ticked down to its five minutes. With just over four minutes to play, Barnes scored a layup to put the Indians up by four. One Forbes free throw was countered by a Garris layup, leaving the teams separated by five with three and a half minutes left. A Basnight jumper with under three minutes left got the Bobcats back within three, before foul trouble again plagued the Bobcats and allowed Catawba to ice the game at the stripe. The Indians went 11-15 from the foul line in the final frame.
Stats Rundown - The Bobcats shot 32.4 percent (22-68) from the floor, 37.5 percent from downtown (6-16) and just 56.3 percent (9-16) from the foul line in the loss. Stacey led the scoring effort with 17 points, while Destiny Johnson also contributed her first career double-digit night with 11. Six other Bobcats scored in the contest. The Bobcats also pulled down 41 total rebounds in the game, with 29 on the defensive end and 12 on the offensive end. Forbes's eight boards were a team-high. Stacey and Forbes each dished out four assists each, while Basnight recorded six steals and Crawford posted four rejections.
Up Next - The Bobcats (2-2) conclude their four-game homestand when they welcome Newberry for another non-conference tilt on Saturday (Nov. 24) for a 2 p.m. tipoff.