Knights rally past Bobcats, 102-97, in overtime thriller

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The St. Andrews Presbyterian College men's basketball team outlasted Lees-McRae College in a thrilling overtime game in Conference Carolinas action on Saturday night in Williams Gymnasium, outscoring the Bobcats by an 11-6 margin in the extra period to claim the victory.

St. Andrews (6-7, 3-3 CC) forced 26 Bobcat (3-9, 0-5 CC) turnovers on the night, converting those miscues into 32 points. Lees-McRae posted one of its most impressive shooting nights of the season, knocking down 55.4 percent of its attempts from the floor, including a 47.6 percent clip from beyond the arc as the Bobcats connected on 10-of-21 attempts from downtown.

Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) poured in a career- and game-high 41 points, connecting on 13-of-20 attempts from the floor while going 5-for-6 from beyond the arc and 10-for-13 at the free throw line. The sophomore guard also dished out a game-high seven assists while grabbing six rebounds. Adam McFerran (Stow, Ohio) and Tevin Friday (Gastonia, N.C.) joined Sepokas in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) recorded game-highs of 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Marvin Jackson (Gloucester, Va.) paced the Knights with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, recording a game-high five steals, while Keith Davis (Orlando, Fla.) poured in 20 markers on 7-of-15 shooting, including a 5-for-10 night from beyond the arc. Ryan Streater (Charlotte, N.C.), Ross Williams (Washington, D.C.), and Aaron Christian (New Bedford, Mass.) joined Jackson and Davis in double figures with 14, 13, and 12 points, respectively, while Jackson pulled down a game-high six rebounds.

Lees-McRae opened the game on an 11-6 run, capping the spurt on a layup by Sam Youse (Winston-Salem, N.C.) at the 16:16 mark. St. Andrews responded, launching a 14-4 run to take a 20-15 lead on a jumper by Barry Tucker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with 13:03 to play in the half.

The Bobcats battled back, answering with a 12-3 spurt to reclaim the lead at 27-23 on back-to-back three-pointers by Reshon Benjamin (Valdosta, Ga.) with 8:57 left in the half. Lees-McRae would hold the margin for the remainder of the period pushing the lead to as much as nine points, taking a 43-37 lead into the intermission.

Lees-McRae continued to dictate play in the second half, opening the period with a 10-7 spurt to take a 53-44 lead on a Tillman jumper with 15:49 to play. St. Andrews would battle back, taking a 58-57 lead on the heels of a 14-4 run after three straight buckets from Antonio Moffitt (Raleigh, N.C.), with the last of which coming with just over 13 minutes remaining.

The teams would trade baskets over the next several minutes before Lees-McRae regained control, launching an 18-10 run to claim an 81-73 advantage on a Friday layup with 6:13 to play. St. Andrews stayed within striking distance, slowly chipping away at the lead before launching a quick 5-0 spurt to even the score at 88-88 with just under one minute left on the clock.

The Knights then claimed a 91-88 lead 30 seconds later, gaining the advantage on a crucial three-point play by Christian with 21 ticks left. Sepokas would answer with perhaps his most clutch bucket of the season, knocking down a strongly-contested three-pointer with less than three seconds left to tie the score at 91-91 and send the game to overtime.

After St. Andrews opened the extra period with a quick 3-0 spurt, the Bobcats responded with a run of their own, pouring in the next six points to take a 97-94 lead on a Youse layup with 2:11 left in overtime. The Knights would take control from there, answering with a Davis triple to kick-start an 8-0 game-clinching run to equal the final margin of 102-97.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine College at 7:30 p.m.

Lees-McRae College, a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA, is located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina. Being a year-round tourist destination, the area provides the best of a vibrant college community coupled with natural beauty and a rich history. Please see www.lmc.edu for more information.

- LMC -