BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lepreece Lynch scored at least 20 points for the fourth time this season and Austin Anderson chipped in with 17, but the Lees-McRae men's basketball team faltered against Emmanuel (Ga.), 91-81, in a Conference Carolinas battle Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Lions (11-3, 6-2 CC) continued their hot start thanks to a trio of players scoring 15 points or more. The Bobcats (10-8, 6-2) saw their three-game win streak snapped despite forcing 18 turnovers.
The contest was physical from start to finish while both teams combined to shoot 71 free throws.
Both teams struggled from beyond the arc while going 18-for-63.
Anderson (Anderson, S.C.) drove to the basket for a layup to give LMC an early 6-5 lead.
EC responded with a 9-0 run, capped off by a triple from Nathan Williams. The Lions defense held LMC without a point for 3:47 during the stretch.
The Bobcats splashed a pair of threes to cut the deficit to two, 16-14.
Junior Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) joined the party with a triple of his own at the 9:05 mark.
Jordan Turner (Hickory, N.C.) dialed up an and-one play with 6:42 on the clock after knocking down a jumper.
The Lions produced a 7-0 run thanks to effective free throw shooting and a bucket from Kendrick Colvin.
Colvin was one of nine Lions to register seven points or more.
Colvin scored on a layup to push the advantage to nine, 37-28.
Junior Chad Hicks (Winston-Salem, N.C.) drained a three to cut it four, 39-35, for LMC's final bucket of the half.
EC used a quick 6-0 spurt to open the second half with consecutive three-point baskets from Willy Akasson and Seven Guinchard.
Guinchard finished with 15 points.
Williams hit another three to give EC its largest lead of the game, 66-48.
LMC didn't back down and used a 9-0 run powered by solid free-throw shooting from Lynch (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and a deep three from sophomore Zach Wilmoth (Dobson, N.C.).
Lynch and Anderson used sharp shooting to cut the deficit to six, 73-67 with 5:59 remaining.
EC hit 11 free throws in the final 3:01 to maintain a decent lead despite triples from Lynch and Kendall Isler (Winder, Ga.).
Gaither missed a double-double by one rebound while finishing with 11 points and nine boards. Isler amassed 12 points.
The Bobcats trek to Wilson, N.C. to face Barton Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. for a CC game.
- LMC -