Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – Coming off the best regular season in program history, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team will look to keep the magic rolling Tuesday when it hosts Erskine in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas men's basketball tournament. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Flying Fleet is set for 7 p.m.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats dropped a close game to rival King University Friday night at Williams Gymnasium, 102-98. LMC rallied from a 15-point deficit to tie the score with 1:26 to go in regulation before the Tornado knocked down several key free throws to pick up the win. LMC closes the regular season with a record of 20-8 overall and 13-5 in conference action.
Postseason basketball back in Banner Elk – For just the second time in program history, the Bobcats will host a postseason game when they host Erskine Tuesday night. The only other time LMC hosted a conference tournament game was at the end of 2015-16 season against Limestone.
February Flourish – The Bobcats have definitely finished their 2017-18 campaign on a high note. LMC is 5-1 in the month of February and it is averaging 93.2 points per game. This has continued a trend for Lees-McRae as it boasts a record of 12-2 in its last 14 games.
About the Conference Carolinas Tournament – The other three quarterfinal matchups Tuesday night will be: No. 8 Belmont Abbey at No. 1 King, No. 6 North Greenville at No. 3 Barton and No. 5 Limestone at No. 4 Mount Olive. The four winners will advance to the semifinals and finals, which will be played on the campus of the highest seed remaining after the quarterfinals on Mar. 3 and 4, respectively. The winner of the Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship.
About Erskine – The Flying Fleet enter Tuesday's game in Banner Elk as the tournament's No. 7 seed after finishing their regular season with a record of 10-16 overall and 6-12 in league play. Erskine's top player this season has been Austin Venable who is averaging 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Series History vs. Erskine – Lees-McRae won both games against Erskine this season. LMC defeated the Flying Fleet 91-81 in mid-January when the Flying Fleet visited Banner Elk. When the two teams matched up in early February, however, Lees-McRae narrowly knocked off the Flying Fleet on the road, 67-64. Overall, Lees-McRae has won three of the last four meetings between the two programs.