BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The King College men's basketball team surged past Lees-McRae College with a 15-2 run in the second half en route to a 73-62 win in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday night in Williams Gymnasium.
King (21-5, 13-1 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 39.7 percent on the night, including a 44 percent clip in the second half, while Lees-McRae (8-15, 7-7 CC) shot 40.3 percent from the floor in the contest. The Tornado edged the Bobcats by a 40-38 margin on the glass, including a 28-23 advantage on the defensive boards, while converting 19-of-22 attempts at the free throw line.
Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including a pair of clutch three-pointers to keep Lees-McRae within striking distance down the stretch. Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, as BJ Battle (Orlando, Fla.) chipped in 13 markers of his own.
Logan Lyle led the way for King with a double-double, recording game-highs of 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, as Brandon Goss added 19 markers and eight boards. Michael Fortune chipped in 10 points, while Goss and Lyle each posted a game-high three steals.
The Bobcats started off strong, scoring the game's first six points and taking a 20-10 lead on a steal and slam by Battle at the 10:27 mark. King quickly answered with a 15-2 run, claiming a 25-22 advantage on a trio of freebies by Lyle at the 6:16 mark after he was fouled on an attempt from three-point range.
After the Bobcats evened the tally at 25-25 and Lyle gave the Tornado a 28-25 advantage with a triple, Lees-McRae knotted the score at 30-30 following a Lamot freebie with just under two minutes remaining in the period. King would answer with a 7-2 run, taking a 37-32 lead into the intermission following a pair of Henry free throws.
The Bobcats responded in the early moments of the second half, taking a narrow 44-43 lead on a Battle tip-in at the 13:48 mark on the heels of an 8-2 run. King would answer with a 15-2 surge, claiming a 58-46 advantage following a Lyle layup with 7:57 to play. The Bobcats began to chip away over the next four minutes, cutting the margin to 62-57 on back-to-back triples by Lamont, the second of which coming at the 4:28 mark.
After King stretched the margin to 65-57 and the Bobcats cut the lead to 65-60 on a freebie by Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia), King strung together an 8-2 run over the final minute and a half to hold on for the 73-62 victory.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Charlotte, N.C. to take on Queens University of Charlotte in conference play at 4 p.m.
- LMC -