Photo courtesy of Matt Jones
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team saw their comeback effort fall just short at the University of Mount Olive on Saturday (Jan. 19), losing by a score of 70-65.
Game Summary - The Trojans jumped out to a 9-3 lead at the first quarter media timeout, before going on a 10-2 run out of the timeout into the final two minutes of the frame. Markia Stacey scored seven of Lees-McRae's 10 points in the first quarter, with Brianna Wright chipping in three. Mount Olive led 19-10 after 10 minutes.
The Trojans scored the first six points of the second quarter in the first 1:18 to extend their lead to 14, before they would hold a double-digit lead for the next four and a half minutes in the quarter. The Bobcats finally cut the lead back to single digits just before the halfway point of the quarter with a Brea Forbes layup, before Mount Olive re-gained their double-digit lead just 30 seconds later. Lees-McRae would manage to cut the lead back down to eight with under three minutes to play in the quarter with a Forbes three-pointer, before the Trojans would extend their lead back up to 16 with 1:20 to play. Mount Olive would out-score the Bobcats in the second quarter 20-12, taking a 39-22 lead to the half.
Lees-McRae scored the first four points of the second half, before Mount Olive would extend their lead back up to 18 two and a half minutes in. Mount Olive's lead in the third quarter would fluctuate between 11 and 18 points, despite the Bobcats out-scoring the Trojans 19-13 in the third quarter. The Trojans led by 11 headed to the fourth quarter at 52-41.
The Bobcats played their best basketball of the afternoon in the final 10 minutes, scrapping and clawing to get the game tied at 64 with two minutes to play. The Bobcats got the lead back down to six early in the fourth, before Mount Olive quickly stretched the lead back to 10 in the first three minutes. Forbes would score a layup with 6:04 to play, before Destiny Johnson hit a triple with 5:35 left in the game to cut the deficit to five. The deficit floated between five and seven points for the Bobcats, before Stacey drilled a three-pointer to get the visitors within four with over four minutes to play. The game ticked down into the final three minutes, before another long ball from Johnson cut the deficit to just one with two and a half to play. Felicity Havens and Johnson would trade old-fashioned three-point plays over the next 30 seconds, leaving the game knotted at 64. With 1:45 to play, Jordan Soares would split two free throws to leave Lees-McRae up by one. Jada Bacchus would score the final six points for Mount Olive to cement the home victory.
Stats Rundown - The Bobcats shot 35.9 percent (23-64) from the field, 35.7 percent (10-28) from beyond the arc and 75.0 percent (9-12) from the foul line in the game. Stacey led the Bobcats with a 15-point effort on the afternoon, while Forbes and Johnson each netted 11 points in the game. This was Forbes's sixth straight double-figure scoring effort. Soares also added 10 points as the fourth Bobcat in double figures on the afternoon. Mount Olive won a slim rebounding battle 35-32, with Lees-McRae totaling 12 offensive rebounds and 20 defensive rebounds. Forbes led the effort on the glass with a team-high eight rebounds. Stacey dished out a game-high seven assists on the afternoon, while Forbes finished the game with six.
Up Next - The Bobcats (8-10, 5-6 Conference Carolinas) continue their road swing on Monday (Jan. 21) when they travel to Southern Wesleyan to wrap up the season series with the Warriors. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.