BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team placed three players in double figures, outscoring Pfeiffer University by a 44-25 margin in the first half and holding on for a 70-61 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday afternoon in Williams Gymnasium.
Lees-McRae (2-9, 2-1 CC) shot 52.8 percent from the floor on the evening, including a blistering 63 percent clip in the first half, while holding Pfeiffer (8-5, 2-1 CC) to a field goal percentage of 29.2 percent in the contest. The Bobcats edged the Falcons by a 33-32 margin on the glass, including a 24-19 advantage on the defensive boards, while converting 16 Pfeiffer miscues into 21 points.
Junior DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) paced the Bobcats with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from outside the arc, as Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) and BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.) chipped in 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Henry and Battle each posted game-highs of eight rebounds and four assists, while DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) added a contest-best three blocks.
The Bobcats never trailed in the game, opening an early 14-7 lead in the first half on Brown's triple at the 14:42 mark before Pfeiffer cut the margin to 25-21 with a 14-11 spurt over the next six minutes. Lees-McRae would answer with a 19-4 run over the final eight minutes of the half, taking a 44-25 lead into the intermission following a pair of freebies by Henry with less than a minute to go.
Pfeiffer began to chip away at the lead over the first 10 minutes of the second half, cutting the margin to 51-39 on a pair of Hollinger free throws at the 10:09 mark. After Brown knocked down a triple to push the lead to 54-39, Pfeiffer answered with a 9-0 run to trim the margin to 54-48 on and four free throws and a jumper from Hollinger with 7:21 to play.
The Bobcats would push the margin to 59-48 before the Falcons countered once again, scoring eight quick points to cut the lead to 59-56 on a Hollinger jumper at the 4:03 mark. Sophomore Will Lopez (Sydney, Australia) knocked down a clutch three-pointer for the Bobcats a minute later, pushing the lead to 63-57 before a layup by Pfeiffer's Danny Smith cut the margin back to three at 63-60.
A foul and a subsequent technical by the Falcons swung the momentum back in Lees-McRae's favor 30 seconds later, as Brown and Lopez converted three of four free throws to push the margin to 66-60 with less than two minutes to play. The Bobcats would hold on from there, converting four additional opportunities at the line to equal the final margin of 70-61.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Bobcats host Erskine College in conference play at 7:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -