GAFFNEY, S.C. --- Junior Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) turned in a double-double, and Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) poured in seven of his game-high 13 points during a critical second-half stretch to lead the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team to a 67-59 win over Limestone College in Conference Carolinas play on Thursday night.
Lees-McRae (1-9, 1-1 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 41.8 percent on the night, including a 44.4 percent clip in the first half, while winning the battle on the glass by a 45-31 margin. Limestone (7-8, 0-3 CC) equaled the Bobcats' mark with a 41.8 percent clip from the floor as Lees-McRae held a 26-22 edge in points in the paint.
Sepokas paced the Bobcats with a game-high 13 points, going 5-for-12 from the floor as Henry chipped in a double-double with 12 markers and a team-best 14 rebounds. BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.) and DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) each added nine points, while DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) posted eight markers and six boards.
Ryan Bogdan led the way for Limestone with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, as Nick Debnam and Marquis Sloan each added 10 markers. Charles Blue chipped in a game-high 15 rebounds, while Debnam and Jamal McNeill each posted a contest-best four assists.
The game proved to be a tightly contested affair, with neither side opening a double-digit advantage at any point during the evening. The Bobcats snatched the early advantage on a three-pointer by Corey Young (Bluff City, Tenn.), taking a 14-8 lead with 15:13 to play in the half before the Saints responded with a 14-0 run to claim a 22-14 margin at the 12:24 mark.
Lees-McRae rose to the challenge, battling back to even the score at 25-25 with an 11-3 run over the next eight minutes, capping the spurt with a Young triple at the 4:17 mark. Limestone would answer once again with a 14-8 spurt, taking a 39-33 lead on a triple by Josh Corry before the Bobcats countered with a 5-0 spurt of their own to close out the half.
Limestone opened the second half with a 5-2 spurt, claiming a 44-40 advantage before the Bobcats responded with a 10-4 run to take a 50-48 lead on Tillman's jumper at the 10:07 mark. The Saints reclaimed the narrow advantage at 53-52 two minutes later before Sepokas took control, knocking down back-to-back jumpers to give the Bobcats a 56-53 lead with 7:23 to play.
After Henry banked in a layup and Phillip Moultrie answered with a bucket of his own for Limestone, Sepokas buried a three-pointer to put the Bobcats up 61-55 at the 4:22 mark. Sepokas' triple would prove to be the decisive blow, as the Bobcats held on over the final four minutes en route to their first win of the season.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Pfeiffer University to continue their conference slate. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -