BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. --- BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.) poured in a game-high 19 points to pace the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team on Wednesday night, as the Bobcats fell to NCAA Division I Gardner-Webb University by a 91-61 margin.
Gardner-Webb (2-1) shot 52.9 percent from the floor on the night, including a 61.1 percent clip in the second half, while limiting Lees-McRae (0-3) to a 43.1 percent mark from the field. The Running Bulldogs won the battle on the glass by a 39-28 margin, including a 15-9 edge on the offensive boards, while converting 21 Bobcat turnovers into 34 points.
Battle paced the Bobcats with a season-high 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting, as Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) continued his strong play to open the campaign with 16 points. Freshman Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) added 11 points and six assists, as Henry, Battle, and Lamot tied for the team-high with four rebounds each.
Max Landis, Jason Dawson, and Tyler Strange each posted 12 points for Gardner-Webb, combining for 17 assists, as Kevin Hartley chipped in 11 markers. Laron Buggs and Strange each posted a game-high three steals, as Santoine Butler posted a contest-best seven rebounds.
Gardner-Webb led wire-to-wire, opening an early 14-2 lead on a Landis triple before the Bobcats responded with a 10-4 run to trim the margin to 18-12 following a three-pointer by Lamot at the 12:21 mark. The Running Bulldogs countered with a 21-7 surge to close out the half, heading into the intermission with a 38-19 lead following a pair of freebies by Corey Hensley.
The Running Bulldogs carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 17-6 run to push the lead to 55-25 on a Strange triple at the 15:29 mark. Gardner-Webb would hold on from there, stretching the margin to as much as 42 points (86-44) on a Dawson triple at the 5:46 mark. The Bobcats finished the night strong, closing out the game with a 17-5 spurt over the final five and a half minutes.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host No. 5 Lincoln Memorial University at 4 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -