Sepokas, Bobcats knock off Young Harris, 73-66

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Junior Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) poured in a game- and season-high 26 points to lead the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team to a 73-66 win over Young Harris College on Saturday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

Lees-McRae (6-13) posted a field goal percentage of 44.6 percent on the night, including a scorching 62.1 percent clip in the second half, while holding Young Harris (16-4) to a mark of 38.1 percent from the floor in the contest. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 44-38 margin, including a 32-27 advantage on the defensive boards, while outscoring the Mountain Lions by a 36-22 spread in the paint.

Sepokas led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 20 markers in the first half, as DeAndre Tillman (Charlotte, N.C.) chipped in 12 points with a 6-for-11 night from the floor. Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) added 11 rebounds and six points, while Tillman posted three blocks. Corey Young (Bluff City, Tenn.) recorded a game-high five assists, as Sepokas, Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.), and BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.) each added four helpers.

Frank Adams paced the Mountain Lions with 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting, as Bryson Robertson nearly posted a double-double with nine markers and a game-high 17 rebounds. Vince Martin and Steve Viterbo both added 12 points, as Martin and Robertson chipped in game-highs of five assists and four blocks, respectively.

The Bobcats got off to a flying start in the first half, as Sepokas knocked down his first four shots to give Lees-McRae an 11-0 lead with 17:47 left in the period. After Robertson, Adams and Viterbo each converted a free throw to trim the margin to 11-3, Sepokas connected on his fourth three-pointer of the evening to push the lead to 14-3 at the 15:39 mark.

Young Harris would answer with a 13-1 surge, claiming a 16-15 advantage on a triple by Adams at the 11:44 mark. The Bobcats responded with a 9-5 run of their own, taking a 24-21 lead following a Sepokas layup with 5:30 left on the clock. After the Mountain Lions reclaimed the lead at 30-28 with an Adams triple on the heels of a 9-4 spurt, Young executed a perfect stutter step on the fast break before laying it in to send the game into the intermission knotted at 30-30.

The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 17-11 run to claim a 47-41 lead on a Sepokas jumper with 14:31 to play. Young Harris answered with a 10-3 run, taking a narrow 51-50 advantage following an Adams lay-in at the 11:12 mark. After the Bobcats countered with a 12-6 run to snatch a 62-57 lead on a Tillman layup, Viterbo and Adams knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to give the Mountain Lions a 63-62 advantage with 4:42 to play.

The teams would trade baskets over the next minute and a half before the Bobcats regained control, taking a 68-65 lead on a clutch jumper by Sepokas with 2:34 left on the clock. Lees-McRae would hold on from there, putting an exclamation point on the evening with an emphatic last-second throw down by Tillman to equal the final margin of 73-66.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Monday when the Bobcats resume their Conference Carolinas schedule with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against Limestone College in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -