Saints surge past Bobcats, 66-49

Box score

GAFFNEY, S.C. --- Maria Young (Asheville, N.C.) poured in a game-high 23 points to lead four Saints in double figures, as the Limestone College women's basketball team utilized a 15-0 run in the second half en route to a 66-49 win over Lees-McRae College on Thursday night in Conference Carolinas play.

Limestone (17-8, 13-6 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 42.1 percent for the game, including a 48.1 percent mark in the second half, while limiting Lees-McRae (6-18, 6-13 CC) to a 36.2 percent clip on the night and a 27.3 percent mark over the final 20 minutes. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 38-33 margin, including a 25-17 advantage on the defensive boards, while the Saints converted 31 LMC miscues into 39 points.

Janina Thurau (Berlin, Germany) paced the Bobcats with 12 points, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and tallying a team-high six rebounds. Melissa Jensen (Aarhus, Denmark) added 11 points, while Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) chipped in nine markers and five boards.

Young connected on 7-of-14 attempts from the floor while knocking down five triples, and going 4-for-5 at the charity stripe. Tia Williams (Dacula, Ga.) added 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while Stephanie Hayes (Hopkins, S.C.) chipped in 10 markers to go with contest-bests of seven rebounds and six steals. Williams also posted five steals and a game-high five assists as Ashley Robinson (Whittier, N.C.) chipped in 10 points off the bench.

Lees-McRae opened the first half on a high note, taking an early 7-3 lead on a triple by Erin Thompson (Ashburn, Va.) before Limestone responded, answering with a 10-3 spurt to claim a narrow 13-10 advantage on a three-pointer by Williams at the 9:46 mark.

The teams would trade baskets over the next several minutes, until the Bobcats launched a 7-2 spurt to take a 26-20 lead on a Smith layup with 3:23 left in the half. Limestone then countered with a 7-1 run of its own to even the score at 27-27 heading into the intermission.

Limestone carried the momentum into the second half, taking an early 32-29 lead on a Robinson layup before Thompson knocked down a clutch triple to even the score at 32-32 with 17:42 to play. The Saints responded in impressive fashion, launching a 15-0 run to open a 47-32 lead on a Williams triple at the 11:41 mark. Limestone held the double-digit advantage for the duration of the contest, closing out the 66-49 win on a late bucket by Young.

Lees-McRae returns to the hardwood on Saturday when the Bobcats host Coker College on Senior Day in Williams Gymnasium. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. following the Senior Day festivities. The Bobcats won the season's first matchup with the Cobras by a 61-37 margin on Jan. 22 in Hartsville, S.C.

- LMC -