BANNER ELK, N.C. - After trailing by only six at halftime, the Lees-McRae College Bobcats men's basketball team didn't have enough as the Barton College Bulldogs won 97-73 Saturday night in Williams Gymnasium in a Conference Carolinas game.
A Daniel Sepokas three tied the game at five, but an Eddie Kershaw field goal gave Barton the lead gain, 7-5 with 17:59 to play. Another three by Sepokas gave the Bobcats the lead right back, but a Gerald Boston basket gives the Bulldogs the lead right back. The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 12-8 on two Jo Jo Velez free throws. The Bobcats would rally to tie the game at 12 with 15:04 to play in the half on two Sepokas free throws. Barton responded with a 14-5 run to take a 26-17 lead with 10:59 to play in the half, but again Lees-McRae tied the game at 26 when Anthony Johnson steal and three with 8:50 remaining in the half. Barton answered with an 8-0 to quickly regain control of the game with 34-26 lead with just over seven minutes remaining. With Barton up 11 with 57 seconds to play, the a Jeremiah Henry basket following by a defensive stop and a Sam Youse buzzer-beating three cut the lead to six, 48-42, going into the locker rooms.
Following the break, Barton pushed the lead to 14, 66-52 on Velez layup with 13:50 remaining in the game, but the Bobcats would cut the lead to single digits, 70-61, with ten minutes to play. Following a Barton timeout, the Bulldogs went on 10-0 run sparked by six Kershaw points to push the lead to 19 points, 80-61, with just under eight minutes to play. The would push the lead to 24 points, 93-69, with 2:12 remaining and hold onto to win by the same margin, 97-73.
Sepokas, who had 17 points and five rebounds, led Lees-McRae. Adam McFerran and Reshon Benjamin added 11 and ten points respectively. Johnson had a team-high five assists on top of eight points. McFerran and Hoots added four assists.
For Barton, Kershaw had a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds to earn a double-double. Jarret Jarnigan had 13 points, and Gerald Boston had 13 points and a game-high six assists. Velez added 11 points and a blocked shot.
The Bulldogs shot 56 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three, while the Bobcats were 44 percent from the floor and 34 percent from behind the arc. Barton was 84 percent from the free throw stripe compared to Lees-McRae's 59 percent.
The Bobcats will return to action in a nonconference game against North Greenville on January 12th at 7 p.m. in Williams Gym.