BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Maria Young poured in a game-high 25 points to lead the league-leading Limestone College women's basketball team to a 63-56 win over Lees-McRae College in Conference Carolinas play on Monday evening in Williams Gymnasium.
Limestone (18-6, 12-2 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 37.3 percent on the night, including a 42.9 percent clip in the first half, while limiting Lees-McRae (6-12, 2-10 CC) to a 39.3 percent mark from the floor in the contest. The Saints knocked down nine three-pointers and converted 16-of-20 attempts from the charity stripe, while winning the battle on the glass by a 38-33 margin, including a 28-24 advantage on the defensive boards.
Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) and DeAnna Waters (Upper Marlboro, Md.) paced the Bobcats with 14 points each, while Paige Whitaker (Harrisburg, N.C.) chipped in 11 markers. Chloe Parker (Chicago, Ill.) and Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) each posted seven rebounds, while Patterson added three steals and a game-high four assists. Sophie Witte (Hamburg, Germany) also recorded a game-high three blocks.
Young led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting, as Stephanie Hayes and Tia Williams chipped in 13 and 11 markers, respectively. Hayes and Williams added game-highs of four assists and five steals, respectively, while Kaileigh West hauled down a contest-best eight rebounds.
Limestone jumped out to an early 13-4 lead in the first half, opening the nine-point advantage on a Young three-pointer with 15:58 to play in the period. The Bobcats would cut the lead to one on three occasions over the next seven minutes, trimming the margin to 27-26 before Patterson gave Lees-McRae a 28-27 advantage with a fast-break bucket at the 6:31 mark.
After Limestone regained the lead with a 6-0 run, the Bobcats closed out the period with back-to-back buckets to trim the margin to 33-32 heading into the intermission. The Saints responded with a 19-2 run to open the second half, pushing the lead to 52-34 on a Young three-pointer with 13:51 to play.
The Bobcats would slowly cut into the lead with a 15-3 run over the next nine minutes, trimming the margin to 55-49 on a Patterson lay-in with 5:53 to play. The Saints quelled the rally with a 5-2 spurt, pushing the lead to 60-51 on a Young three-pointer at the 2:54 mark to regain control. Limestone would hold on from there, closing out the win on a fast-break layup by Hayes with less than two minutes to go.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine College at 5:30 p.m. The Flying Fleet edged the Bobcats by a 67-60 margin on Jan. 10 in Williams Gymnasium.
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