The Lees-McRae College Bobcats basketball team traveled to UNC-Asheville Thursday evening for an exhibition affair in preparation for the upcoming season. The Bobcats battled hard, but fell to their Division I opponents, 71-50.
The Bulldogs led from start to finish as their defense forced 21 Bobcat turnovers. Asheville built a double-digit lead midway through the first half and maintained it throughout the game.
Lees-McRae was led by Henry Williams with nine points. Stephen Haymer led the Bobcats on the board with six rebounds.
"We showed improvement over the last week although we didn't shoot the ball very well," commented Head Coach Scott Polsgrove. "I was very proud of our effort."
Bryan Smithson scored 14 points, while Joey Harrell added 13 points to lead the Bulldogs. Reid Augst came off the bench to score 12 points, and also added four steals for UNCA.
Asheville's defense was tough early as the Bulldogs surged to a 17-6 lead in the first eight minutes. The Bobcats closed to six on a Williams jumper with three minutes left in the half but Asheville scored the final five points of the half as Harrell sank a three-pointer as the first-half buzzer sounded to give the Dogs a 31-16 halftime lead.
"I really like the way Lees-McRae played," stated UNCA Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach. "They have a well-coached team and play hard. We wish them the best of luck this year."
Lees-McRae could get no closer than 11 in the second half as Asheville led by as many as 23 before settling for the 71-50 win.
The Bobcats will get back in the gymnasium and continue
preparing for their season opener November 15th when they travel to
Tennessee to battle Lincoln Memorial.