Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
DUE WEST, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team rallied from the double-digit deficit Tuesday night at Erskine but ultimately fell just short, 82-81. The loss pushes Lees-McRae's overall record to 5-11 overall and 2-5 in conference action.
The difference in Tuesday's first half was Erskine's ability to crash the glass against the Bobcats. The Flying Fleet doubled up Lees-McRae in rebounding (18 to 9), including six offensive rebounds. Those second chances provided fruit for the Fleet as they went to the locker room with an eight-point advantage, 43-35.
When the second half began, it looked like Erskine may run away from the Bobcats. The Fleet built their lead to as many as 17 points early in the second. However, Lees-McRae would claw back into the game thanks in part to seven made three-pointers. A three-pointer from LMC's Jonathan Webb made it 69-67 Erskine with 6:15 to go in the game. The Bobcats did not trail by more than two possessions over the final six minutes but they did not tie the score or pull in front of Erskine either. With that being said, the Bobcats had a chance to win the game as time expired but the shots rimmed out sealing the one-point victory for Erskine.
For the eighth time this season, Andrew Gardner paced the Bobcats on the scoreboard scoring 16 points. Eight of Gardner's 16 points came from the free throw line where the freshman forward went a perfect 8-for-8 on the night. Senior Malik Wright reached double figures as well with 12 points, while grabbing a team-best eight rebounds. Quay Kimble rounded out the double-digit scorers Tuesday with 10 points to go along with a team-high four steals.
Lees-McRae will return to the court Thursday night when it hosts Mount Olive at Williams Gymnasium. Tip-off between the Bobcats and Trojans is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday night's contest is also Church Night where fans can receive free admission to the game by bringing in a bulletin.