BANNER ELK, N.C. - Lauren Casey scored 23 of the Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats' 61 second half points to earn a 89-76 comeback win over the Converse College Valkyries Thursday night in the final regular season game of the 2009 season.
Casey ended the game with a career high 29 points for the Lady Bobcats. Casey was 6-of-9 from the floor, 2-of-4 from behnd the arc and 9-of- 9 from three free throw line in the second half. Cortney Furr added 21 points, just one point shy of her career high. Ashley Holland chipped in with 16 points. Jazzmine Tate grabbed a game high eight rebounds.
Kariann Hill led the Valkyries with 13 points, and Kendra Bothof added 12 points. Ashley Arff and Alaina Smith had ten points apiece Arff and Ashley Day grabbed a team high seven rebounds.
Converse led the entire first half and took 34-21 lead into the intermission.
Converse was 50 percent from the floor and missed their three attempts from behind the three-point line. Lees-McRae was a sluggish 28 percent overall and 33 percent from three in the first half.
After the break Casey sparked the Lady Bobcats' comeback with eight points and a steal that resulted in a 10-2 run to tie the game at 38 with 17:36 remaining in the clock.
But Converse responded an 11-2 run to take a 51-40 lead with 12:52 on the clock, but two minutes later a Janina Thurau layup capped a 10-0 Lady Bobcat run to cut the lead to one, 51-50.
Converse managed to stay just out of reach until 4:43 when Furr canned a three to tie the game at 63 with just less than five minutes remaining.
The two teams traded the lead five times and had two ties over the next two minutes before Casey was fouled shooting a three sending her to the charity stripe. Casey made all three free throw attempts to give the Lady Bobcats a 70-68 lead with 2:41 left to play.
On the ensuing Converse possession Tate forced a turnover resulting in a Thurau layup. Ashley Holland stole the inbounds and hit a field goal to push the Lees-McRae lead to 74-68.
Down the stretch the Lady Bobcats made 12 of their 16 free throws the seal the game, which was capped off by a Furr three to give the Lees-McRae the largest lead of the game, 89-74. Converse made a field goal to give the game the final score of 89-76.
In the second half Lees-McRae was 45 percent from the field and 54 percent from three, while Converse was 56 percent from the floor and did not make a three pointer.
Lees-McRae scored 37 points off of 39 Converse turnovers, while Converse score 27 points off of 27 Lees-McRae turnovers.
The Bobcats will travel to Limestone College Sunday, March 1st at 7 p.m. for the first round of the 2009 Conference Carolinas Tournament.
Pictured: Lauren Casey