Men's Basketball

Tusculum outlasts Lees-McRae, 75-60

Tusculum outlasts Lees-McRae, 75-60
Box score

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum College men's basketball team held off a furious rally by Lees-McRae College en route to a 75-60 win in a resumed contest after the initial matchup was suspended on November 22, closing out the victory with 10 unanswered points over the final two minutes.

The contest resumed Thursday night at the 17:28 mark of the second half, as the teams picked up where they left off on November 22 after wet court conditions forced the contest to be suspended. Tusculum (3-4) posted a field goal percentage of 46.9 percent in the contest, including an even 50 percent in the first half, while limiting Lees-McRae (0-6) to a 29.8 percent clip from the floor. Tusculum won the battle on the glass by a 46-28 margin, including a 31-15 advantage on the defensive boards, while outscoring the Bobcats 36-20 in the paint.

Freshman Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 17 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 night at the charity stripe, while dishing out six assists and recording a game-high five steals. Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) and Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) each added 11 points, as DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) and BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.) both hauled down a team-high five rebounds.

Tommy Klempin led the way for Tusculum with a game-high 20 points, going 6-for-8 from the floor and converting each of his eight attempts at the free throw line. Kevin Vest added a double-double with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Jordan Davidson chipped in a double-double of his own with 14 markers and 10 boards. Justin Steigerwald also added 10 points for Tusculum.

Tusculum got off to a hot start in the first half, opening the game on a 21-8 run that was capped by a Vest layup at the 12:21 mark. The Bobcats would keep pace with the Pioneers over the next four minutes before launching an 11-2 run, trimming the margin to 28-25 on a pair of freebies by Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.). Tusculum answered over the final two minutes of the period, closing out the half with four points from Vest to take a 38-30 advantage into the intermission.

The Pioneers came out firing in the second half, pushing the margin to 44-30 with a 6-0 run before play was suspended with 17:28 on the clock. Tusculum maintained the margin for the first several minutes when play resumed Thursday night, pushing the lead to 55-38 at the 8:48 mark before the Bobcats responded with an 11-4 run to cut the margin to 59-49 on a Henry layup with 5:44 to play.

Lees-McRae would eat away at the lead over the next several minutes, trimming the margin to 65-60 on a clutch three-pointer by Lamot at the 2:13 mark on the heels of an 11-5 run. Tusculum shut the door from there, outscoring the Bobcats by a 10-0 margin over the final two minutes to close out the 75-60 win.

The Bobcats return to the court on Saturday, December 10 when they travel to Jefferson City, Tenn. to take on Carson-Newman College in a 2 p.m. matchup.

- LMC -