Photo courtesy of Matt Jones
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team defeated Converse in Conference Carolinas action on Tuesday (Feb. 26) 75-70 to finish up the 2018-19 regular season. Lees-McRae finishes the regular season 14-14 overall and 10-10 in Conference Carolinas, with both win totals marking the most for the program in a regular season since 2003-04.
Game Summary - The scoring started slow for both teams, with Lees-McRae ahead just 9-3 three minutes into the game. After a quick two-possession flurry, Lees-McRae led 13-8 four minutes into the first quarter. After no scoring for almost three minutes, Lees-McRae would continue to lead by two possessions before a Dominique Hill jumper got the game to back within four at the two-minute mark. Converse would do all the scoring in the final two minutes to take an 18-17 lead after 10 minutes.
Lees-McRae played a solid defensive second quarter, holding Converse to just six points on the way to a 30-24 halftime lead. Both teams began the quarter cold, as each team had scored only two points up until the hallway point of the frame. The Bobcats would re-gain the lead on an Alexis Ammons jump shot with 3:32 left in the quarter, and not look back on the way to their halftime lead.
Converse would win the third quarter 26-21 to go to the fourth quarter down by just one. Lees-McRae extended its lead to 10 in the first minute of the second half, before Converse would go on a run to tie the game at 36 three minutes into the quarter. The Valkyries quickly built a two-possession lead around the halfway mark of the quarter, forcing a Lees-McRae timeout. Lees-McRae would come back to tie the game at 43 with 3:40 remaining in the third, quickly building a four-point lead in the final three minutes of the third. Converse would knot the game again with two and a half minutes to play in the quarter, before a pair of Breana Hardnett free throws with 1:09 to play in the quarter would represent the final points in the frame.
Lees-McRae would out-score Converse 24-20 in the final 10 minutes to hang on for the road win. The game was tied at 56 less than two minutes into the quarter, before the Bobcats stretched their lead up to six points just before the three-minute mark. Lees-McRae's lead was seven at the halfway point of the final frame, before it would be extended to as many as nine in the next two minutes. The Bobcats would grow their lead further to as many as 11 in the final three minutes, before Converse would trim it down to the final separation at five points.
Stats Rundown - Lees-McRae shot 36.6 percent (26-71) from the floor, 26.1 percent (6-23) from long range and 65.4 percent (17-26) from the foul line in the win. Markia Stacey's 20 points were a team-high, while Ammons posted 19 and Destiny Johnson added 12 in the victory. Lees-McRae out-rebounded Converse 42-40 in the win, led by a team-high eight rebounds from Johnson. Stacey also dished out a team-high seven assists in the win. Brea Forbes played in her final regular season game as a Bobcat, tying the program mark for career games played at 112. Forbes ties Courtney Furr, who played at Lees-McRae from 2005-09.
Up Next - The Bobcats (14-14, 10-10 Conference Carolinas) now await their Conference Carolinas tournament first round opponent. The first round will be played on Monday (Mar. 4) at the higher seeded team's campus.