ANDERSON, SC--Jessica Lunsford made seven free throws in the final 39 seconds to lead the Lees-McRae Lady Bobcats to a 56-53 upset of #25 Anderson University Thursday night at the Abney Center. The win is the first of the year for the Lady Bobcats and evens their Conference Carolinas record at 1-1, (1-4 overall).
With 4:23 remaining in the contest, and the Lady Bobcats trailing 44-40, senior Stephanie Mullinax (Etowah, TN) took things upon herself by scoring seven straight points to give the Lady Bobcats a 47-44 lead with 2:32 to play. After a three-point basket by Keana Boyd tied the game at 47 for the Trojans, Lees-McRae took the lead for good with 1:03 to play on a layup by Cortney Furr (Concord, NC). Boyd dropped in another three pointer with three seconds remaining to cut the Lady Bobcat lead to 54-53, but Lunsford (Elk Park, NC) calmly drained her sixth and seventh consecutive shots from the charity stripe to seal the win.
The win against the Trojans is the first over a nationally ranked opponent for second year Head Coach Sebastian Wild, snapping an eight game losing streak to the perennial Conference Carolinas contender, and also snaps Anderson's home winning streak at 27 games.
The Lady Trojans, participants in the last four NCAA Tournaments and the preseason favorite to win the Conference Carolinas this season, entered the contest ranked #25 in the ESPN/USA TODAY Division II Top 25 National Poll, now fall to 3-1 with the loss and also see their Conference Carolinas record even at 1-1.
Lunsford and Mullinax led the well-balanced Lady Bobcats attack with 11 points apiece, while Brittany Roberson (Salisbury, NC) chipped in ten. Mullinax also pulled down a game high 11 rebounds as the Lady Bobcats won that battle 45-35, while Lunsford was credited with six of the Lady Bobcats 14 assists in the game.
Boyd was the lone Anderson player in double figures with a game high 18 points and also chipped in on the defensive side of the ball with seven steals.
The seesaw affair saw 11 lead changes and nine ties throughout the contest, the largest lead for either team being five points, a 24-19 edge the Lady Bobcats held with 2:21 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Bobcats will look to continue the momentum from the upset over the Trojans when they return home to Williams Gymnasium Saturday afternoon to host Conference Carolinas foe Coker College.
PICTURED TOP LEFT: Jessica Lunsford
PICTURED BOTTON LEFT: Stephanie Mullinax