Photo courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team got its record back to .500 overall and in Conference Carolinas with a 56-44 win over North Greenville on Saturday (Dec. 15). Senior Markia Stacey also joined teammate Brea Forbes in the 1,000 point club this afternoon.
Game Summary - The two teams traded buckets that left them tied at five over the first five minutes and change of the opening frame, before a back-and-forth sequence left them tied at 11 with two minutes to play. Markia Stacey and Natalie Averett would trade layups, before a Breana Hardnett old-fashioned three-point play at the horn would leave Lees-McRae up 16-13 after 10 minutes.
Hardett would open the scoring in the second quarter with a triple, forcing a North Greenville timeout. After back-to-back buckets by Ayano Shelton got North Greenville back within two, Savannah Hughes sunk two free throws to tie the game at 19 on the next possession. Stacey would drain a triple as her next bucket with 5:37 to play in the first half, officially surpassing the 1,000-point mark for her Lees-McRae career. She became the 11th player in program history to achieve the feat, and the second one this season after Forbes netted her 1,000th career point back on Nov. 19 against Catawba. Forbes scored a layup on the next possession to extend Lees-McRae's lead to five, before Meg Crawford counted the bucket and a foul shot to stretch the lead to eight with four and a half minutes to play in the half. The two teams would go into a cold spell until the two-minute mark, when Kyli Schmit made a layup to cut the Bobcat lead to six. The Bobcats would score four points in the final minute to take a 10-point lead to the half. Hardnett would make one of two free throws, before draining a three-pointer with one second left.
Lees-McRae would open the second half on a 13-6 run over the first six minutes of the quarter, leaving the Bobcats up 44-26. The Bobcats would extend their lead to as many as 23 in the remainder of the third quarter. The teams headed to the fourth with Lees-McRae ahead 49-30.
North Greenville would win the fourth quarter 24-17, but Lees-McRae's lead never slipped below double digits in the win.
Stats Rundown - Lees-McRae shot 34.3 percent (23-67) from the floor, 30.8 percent (8-30) from long range and 75.0 percent (12-16) from the charity stripe. Crawford led the scoring effort with a team-high 14 points, along with 13 from Hardnett. Stacey and Forbes also contributed 11 points each in the win. Lees-McRae pulled down 43 rebounds to North Greenville's 44, collecting 14 on the offensive end and 29 on the defensive end. Lakitia Basnight and Stacey shared the team-lead with seven boards each, while Stacey also assisted on seven baskets on the afternoon.
Up Next - The Bobcats (5-5, 2-2 Conference Carolinas) will host Lenoir-Rhyne in non-conference action on Tuesday (Dec. 18) at 2 p.m. Video and live stats will be available at lmcbobcats.com.