BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Mars Hill College men's basketball team outscoring Lees-McRae College by a 51-31 margin in the second half to surge past the Bobcats en route to a 90-78 win in non-conference action on Monday evening in Williams Gymnasium.
Mars Hill (1-2) shot 55.8 percent from the floor on the night, including a scorching 61.5 percent clip in the second half, while winning the battle on the glass by a 36-27 margin and converting 24-of-32 attempts at the free throw line. Lees-McRae (0-2) shot 51.5 percent overall, including a 61.8 percent clip in the first half, while converting 19 Mars Hill turnovers into 29 points.
Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) nearly recorded a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds to pace the Bobcats, as Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) chipped in 13 points, four assists, and four steals. DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) and Corey Young (Bluff City, Tenn.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively, as Young and Will Lopez (Sydney, Australia) chipped in four and three assists, respectively.
Sammy Emile poured in a game-high 29 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including a 10-for-13 night at the charity stripe, to go along with eight rebounds. Terrell Harris added 27 points off the bench, as Cody King scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Petar Kostic also chipped in eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Lees-McRae got off to a strong start in the first half, opening the game with a 28-16 run over the first eight and a half minutes and capping the surge with an emphatic fast break dunk by freshman BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.).
Mars Hill would respond with a 20-11 run, closing the gap to 39-36 on a pair of freebies by Harris at the 3:22 mark. The Bobcats answered with an 8-3 spurt over the final three and a half minutes of the period, as Lamot knocked down a jumper with four seconds on the clock to send the Bobcats into the intermission with a 47-39 lead.
The Lions came out firing in the second half, opening the period with a 24-8 run to take a 63-55 lead on a jumper by Kostic at the 12:36 mark. Mars Hill would dictate play for the next several minutes, pushing the lead to 76-60 on a Harris layup on the fast break at the 8:14 mark.
With the scoreboard reading 83-67 in favor of Mars Hill with 4:20 to play, the Bobcats launched an 11-3 run to cut the margin to 86-78 on a pull-up triple by Lamot with 45 ticks left on the clock. Mars Hill would cut the rally short in the final minute, holding the Bobcats off the scoreboard to hang on for the victory.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. to take on Gardner-Webb University at 7 p.m.
- LMC -