Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team picked up a 78-70 victory on the road at the University of Mount Olive Saturday afternoon. The win, which is the team's second straight, improves Lees-McRae's overall record to 7-14 and its conference mark to 4-7.
After the two teams nearly combined for 100 first half points in last week's matchup in Banner Elk, Saturday's first half had a little less offense involved. Lees-McRae used a combination of balanced offense and improved defense to lead Mount Olive by as many as 12 points in the first 20 minutes. The balanced offensive attack consisted by eight Bobcats scoring points, while the defense held UMO to 38.5 percent shooting from the field compared to the 61.8 mark in the previous matchup. Even with these factors working in Lees-McRae's benefit, UMO was able to trim the deficit down to seven going into the halftime break, 39-32.
The final 20 minutes proved to be very competitive between the Bobcats and Trojans. Whenever it looked like one team started to gain momentum the other would stop it before it got out of hand. UMO was able to hang around, but it was never able to get the deficit within one possession in the second half as the Bobcats went on to win by a score of 78-70.
Sophomore Quay Kimble finished the contest with a team-high 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. The freshman duo of Wes Morgan (15 points) and Anthony Hicks (14 points) also reached double figures to help the cause. Rounding out the stat leaders was senior Malik Wright who scored 11 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
Lees-McRae will aim for its third straight win Monday night as it pays a visit to Southern Wesleyan. The Bobcats upended SWU earlier this season 87-70 at Williams Gymnasium. Monday's matchup between the Bobcats and Warriors is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m.