BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats (5-8, 3-5) let an 11 point halftime lead slip away as they lost to the Mount Olive College Trojans (10-3, 6-2) Saturday afternoon in a Conference Carolinas game in Williams Gymnasium.
The Bobcats ran off to a 19-9 lead eight minutes into the game
when Lauren Casey (Raleigh, N.C.) hit the back end of two free
The Trojans would close the lead to three, 19-16, on a 7-0 run two minutes later on a Tomeka Prichard three pointer.
The two teams traded baskets until Lees-McRae held three eight point leads and pushed the lead to double digits, 32-22, on a Chahkia Harrison (Baltimore, Md.) made field goal with 5:23 remaining in the half.
The Lady Bobcats took the largest lead of the half, 39-26, on a Jazzmin Tate (Pacolet, S.C.) field goal, but two Rashonda Speed free throws brought the half time score to 39-28.
In the first half Lees-McRae was 14-33, 42 percent, from the floor, while Mount Olive shot only 9-33, 27 percent from the floor. The Bobcats shot 30 percent from behind the arc, and Mount Olive was 20 percent.
In the second half, Mount Olive closed the Lees-McRae lead to four, 42-38, with 12 minutes remaining in the half, but a Casey three on the next possession brought the lead back up to seven, 45-38.
Mount Olive mounted a 7-0 run to tie the game at 45 with less than ten minutes remaining on a Brittany Miller field goal.
Lees-McRae responded with an 8-3 run to take a 56-48 lead with 5:50 showing on the clock. During the run Renee Roberson (Salisbury, N.C.) knocked down a three, and Kayla Newman (Charlotte, N.C.) had the final basket of the run on a field goal.
With 1:43 left, Prichard hit a field goal to make it a three point game, 63-60. Lauren Casey made a free throw for the Lady Bobcats to push the lead to four, 64-60, but Jasmine White hit two clutch free throws for the visitors to cut the lead to two.
Prichard pulled down a defensive rebound, and the Trojans capitalized on the opportunity when Prichard converted a three point play to give Trojans a one point 65-64 lead with 47 seconds remaining.
The Lady Bobcats would miss three chances to take the lead heading down the stretch, but Britteny Robich would seal the win, 67-64, for the Trojans with two free throw makes.
In the second half, Lees-McRae shot 25 percent, 7-27, from the floor and 22 percent, 2-9, from behind the three point line. Mount Olive shot 37 percent, 12-32, from the floor and didn't make a three point basket in 11 attempts.
The Trojans out rebounded the Lady Bobcats 53-42. They turned 22 offensive rebounds into 21 second chance points, while Lees-McRae had 14 offensive rebounds for 11 points.
Casey led Lees-McRae with 17 points. Ashley Holland and Chahkia Harrison had 13 and 11 points respectively. Emari Ready (Midloathian, Va.), Kayla Newman and Jazzmin Tate had five rebounds apiece. Ready also led the team in assists with four.
For the Trojans, Jasmine Whitby led the way with a double-double, 13 points and 11 rebounds. Tomeka Prichard had a team high 14 points, and Rashonda Speed and Britteny Robich had 11 and 10 points respectively. Brittany Miller grabbed a game high 13 rebounds.
The Lady Bobcats will travel to Due West, South Carolina to take on the Erskine College Flying Fleet January 19th at 5:30 p.m. in their next game.
Pictured: Chahkia Harrison