BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Sophomore Paige Whitaker (Harrisburg, N.C.) poured in a game- and career-high 18 points to lead four players in double figures, as the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team rallied past Barber-Scotia College en route to a 85-56 victory in Williams Gymnasium to open its season.
Lees-McRae (1-0) shot 45 percent from the floor on the afternoon, including a 46.9 percent clip in the first half, while limiting Barber-Scotia to a 38.2 percent mark from the field. The Mighty Sabers won the battle on the glass by a 44-31 margin, as Lees-McRae converted 41 Saber turnovers into 38 points.
Whitaker shot 7-of-12 from the floor, including a 4-for-8 afternoon from behind the arc, as Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.) poured in 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) and Megan Tate (High Point, N.C.) each tallied 12 points, as Patterson chipped in game-highs of five assists and four steals. Tate added four assists of her own, as Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) chipped in four helpers.
Darrian Bush paced the Sabers with 12 points as Shanequa Jackson chipped in 10 markers. Lindsay Lee added a game-high 15 rebounds and four steals, as Tesha Wilson chipped in four assists and four thefts.
Barber-Scotia got off to a strong start, jumping out to an 11-3 lead before the Bobcats responded with a 10-2 run to even the tally at 13-13 on a jumper by Flowers. The Sabers answered with a 15-6 run, opening a 28-17 lead on a layup by Calline Andrews at the 9:04 mark. Barber-Scotia would hold the lead for the next four and a half minutes until the Bobcats seized control, closing out the half with a 14-0 run over the final four minutes to take a 38-34 lead into the intermission on a late layup by Patterson.
The Sabers answered with an 8-2 run to open the second half, taking a narrow 42-40 lead before the Bobcats responded with a 19-2 surge to claim a 59-44 advantage on a pair of freebies by Amber Coleman (Alexandria, Va.) at the 10:21 mark. Lees-McRae took control from there, closing out the game with a 26-12 run to equal the final margin of 85-56 on two late free throws by Patterson.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Monday when the Bobcats host Hiawassee College in a 5 p.m. matchup in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -