Saints hold off late Bobcat rally, win 71-57

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Maria Young (Asheville, N.C.) scored a game-high 32 points, and the Limestone College women's basketball team held off a late rally by Lees-McRae College en route to a 71-57 win in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday night in Williams Gymnasium.

Limestone (14-7, 10-5 CC) drained 11 three-pointers and shot 44.6 percent from the floor on the night, including a 46.9 percent clip in the first half, while holding Lees-McRae (5-15, 5-10 CC) to a 36.2 percent mark from the field. The Bobcats edged the Saints by a 37-36 margin on the glass, including a 13-10 advantage on the offensive boards, while Limestone converted 21 Lees-McRae miscues into 26 points.

Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 3-for-7 mark from beyond the arc, while Sophie Witte (Hamburg, Germany) and Janina Thurau (Berlin, Germany) joined her in double figures with 13 and 11 markers, respectively. Witte and Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) each tallied a team-high six rebounds for the Bobcats.

Young led all scorers with 32 points on 11-of-20 shooting, including a 5-for-11 mark from three-point range, as Tia Williams (Dacula, Ga.) chipped in 12 markers with a 4-for-7 night from downtown. Kaileigh West (Jacksonville, Ill.) chipped in a game-high 10 rebounds, while Stephanie Hayes (Hopkins, S.C.) dished out a contest-best six assists.

Young poured in 19 of her 32 points in the first half, knocking down 7-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc to pace the Saints. Lees-McRae controlled the tempo early in the opening period, answering a quick three-pointer by Hayes with a 10-0 run to take a 10-3 lead on a Patterson layup with 15:42 to play in the period.

Limestone responded with a run of its own, launching a 19-6 spurt to take a 22-16 lead on a Williams triple at the 10:22 mark. The Saints continued to press the attack, pushing the lead to 38-20 with a 16-4 run that was capped by a Williams triple with 4:38 left in the half, before taking a 43-27 advantage into the intermission.

The Bobcats stayed within striking distance for much of the second half, cutting the lead to 53-47 on a Flowers triple with 11:13 to play on the heels of a 13-4 run. The Saints responded with a run of their own, opening a 66-53 lead on a Young jumper with 4:09 to play. Limestone then closed out the win with five of the final nine points to clinch the victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Thursday when the Bobcats host Converse College to continue their conference schedule. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium as LMC hosts WBCA Pink Zone night.

- LMC -