BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats let a nine point halftime lead slip away to fall to the Belmont Abbey College Lady Crusaders, 65-52, Wednesday night in a Conference Carolinas women's basketball game in Williams Gymnasium.
Cortney Furr (Concord, N.C.) hit a three pointer to give the Lady Bobcats a 12-6 lead with 13:02 to play in the half.
With nine minutes remaining an Amanda McDonald field goal cut the Lady Bobcat lead to 14-10, but two three pointers by Lauren Casey (Raleigh, N.C.) and another three by Furr put the Lady Bobcats up nine, 23-14, with seven minutes showing in the half.
Emari Ready (Midlothian, Va.) gave Lees-McRae the largest lead of the half, 32-20, with 1:46 on the clock when she hit a three.
A Courtney Naquin three cut the lead to nine, 32-23, heading into the intermission for the Lady Crusaders.
In the first half, Lees-McRae shot 43 percent, 13-30, from the floor and 33 percent, 6-18, from behind the three point line. Belmont Abbey shot a dismal 32 percent, 9-28, from the floor and 14 percent, 1-7, from behind the three point line.
Lees-McRae came of the locker rooms and looked like they were going to pick up right where they left off when Kayla Newman (Charlotte, N.C.) knocked down a field goal to give the Lady Bobcats a ten point lead, 38-28, with 16:07 remaining in the game, but that would be last Lady Bobcat basket for six minutes.
The Ashley Giddens' three point basket to cut the lead to seven, 38-31, with 15:25 to play exploded the Lady Crusaders into a 20-0 run that gave them a 46-38 lead with ten minutes remaining. During the run, Giddens had nine points.
Ready knocked down a tre to cut the lead to five, 46-41, and snap the nine minute scoring drought for the Lady Bobcats, but just over a minute later Giddens sank another three to push the lead to 11, 52-41.
A Naquin three gave the Lady Crusaders the largest lead of the game at 17, 63-46, with just under three minutes left in the game.
In the second half, the Lady Bobcat offense cooled down to a 25 percent, 7-27, from the floor and seven percent, 1-13, from behind the arc, while the Lady Crusaders shot a simmering 50 percent, 14-28, overall and 85 percent, 6-7, from three point land.
Belmont Abbey was also 12-16, 75 percent, from the free throw line, while Lees-McRae shot 5-10, 50 percent, from the line. The Lady Crusaders took advantage of 32 Lady Bobcat turnovers with 28 points, while Lees-McRae only had 18 points off of 30 Belmont Abbey turnovers.
Casey led the Lady Bobcats with 12 points and was one of three players with four rebounds. Ashley Holland (Duncan, S.C.) was the only other Lees-McRae player in double digits with ten points, and she had a game high six assists. Holland and Furr had four rebounds, as well.
Naquin tallied 16 points for the Lady Crusaders going 5-9 from the floor including 4-8 from behind the three point line and hitting her two attempted free throws. Giddens added 12 points, all of which came in the second half, and Amanda McDonald had 10 points. Shayla Jackson grabbed a game high 11 rebounds and led the team with four assists.
With the loss, Lees-McRae falls to 5-7 overall and 3-4 in the conference, while Belmont Abbey improves to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference.
Lees-McRae will take to the hardwood again Saturday, January 17th as the Mount Olive College Trojans travel up the mountains to Williams Gymnasium. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.
2008-2009 Season Stats
Pictured: Lauren Casey