SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Four players scored in double figures, and the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team shot a season-high 47.5 percent from the floor as the Bobcats opened the new year with a 77-48 victory over Converse College on Monday night in Conference Carolinas play.
Lees-McRae (1-7, 1-2 CC) connected on 58.1 percent of its attempts from the floor in the first half to take a 41-23 lead into the intermission, while holding Converse (0-10, 0-3 CC) to a 23.1 percent field goal percentage on the night. The Valkyries won the battle on the glass by a 46-39 margin, including a 23-13 advantage on the offensive boards, while Lees-McRae converted 26 Converse turnovers into 30 points.
Erin Thompson (Ashburn, Va.) poured in a game-high 16 points to pace the Bobcats, connecting on 6-of-9 attempts from the floor and going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.), Chloe Parker (Chicago, Ill.), and Melissa Jensen (Aarhus, Denmark) joined Thompson in double figures with 13, 12, and 12 points, respectively, while Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) dished out a game-high 11 assists. Parker nearly posted a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds as Patterson posted a contest-best five steals.
Katy Vaughan (Lebanon, Tenn.) paced the Valkyries with 13 points and four assists, as Maddi Currier (Lafayette, Tenn.) joined her in double figures with 11 markers. Morgan Sacharski (Sussex, Wis.) pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and nearly had a double-double with nine points, while Brandy Williams (Spartanburg, S.C.) chipped in seven points and nine rebounds.
Lees-McRae never trailed, opening an early 8-2 lead in the first half before Converse responded, cutting the margin to 8-6 with a 6-0 spurt, which was capped by a Vaughan layup at the 15:29 mark. The Bobcats answered with a run over their own, pouring in 11 straight points to take a 19-6 lead on a jumper by Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) with 12:21 to go in the half.
Converse would trim to the lead to 21-12 with a 6-2 spurt before Flowers knocked down a three-pointer at the 9:25 mark, kick starting a 17-5 Bobcat run over the next five minutes as LMC pushed the margin to 38-17. The Valkyries closed out the half with a 6-3 run to cut the lead to 41-23 heading into the intermission.
Lees-McRae would maintain the double-digit lead for the remainder of the game, holding at least a 20-point margin for the final 10 minutes en route to its first conference win of the season.
The Bobcats return to the court on Thursday when they host Queens University of Charlotte to continue their league slate. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -