MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. --- Senior Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) poured in a game-high 14 points to lead the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team in an exhibition contest against Milligan College on Tuesday evening, as the Buffaloes held off a second half rally by the Bobcats en route to a narrow 62-57 victory.
Lees-McRae won the battle on the glass by a 48-46 margin, including a 16-13 advantage on the offensive boards, while Milligan posted a field goal percentage of 34.8 percent on the evening. The Bobcats shot 34.2 percent from the floor in the contest, including a 42.1 percent clip in the second half, as Lees-McRae outscored the Buffaloes by a 38-28 margin in the paint.
Patterson paced the Bobcats with a game-high 14 points, shooting 6-for-10 from the floor while posting three assists and three steals. Junior transfer Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) added 10 points and seven rebounds in her debut for the Bobcats, while freshman Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) chipped in eight boards and a game-high four blocks.
Freshmen Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) posted nine and eight points, respectively, as Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) added seven markers and seven rebounds.
Kayla Kelly led the way for Milligan with a double-double, posting 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Dorian Freeman added 11 markers. Allison Jones chipped in 10 points, six boards and two blocks, as Johneshia Good recorded nine rebounds.
Milligan jumped out to an early 15-7 lead in the first half, answering back-to-back buckets by the Bobcats with a 9-0 run that was capped by a layup from Tracy Hardiman at the 10:35 mark. The Bobcats would counter with a 5-1 spurt, closing the gap to 16-12 on a fast-break jumper by Patterson before De Souza capped the half with a late three-pointer, trimming the Buffalo lead to 25-21 heading into the intermission.
The Buffaloes responded in the opening moments of the second half, pushing the lead to 30-21 before Lees-McRae answered with a 10-2 run, cutting the advantage to 32-31 on a Patterson jumper with 14:50 to play.
The Bobcats would stay within striking distance over the course of the next several minutes, countering a jumper by Jaimee Hill with an emphatic three-point play by Patterson and a lay-in by De Souza to trim the margin to 39-38 at the 11:50 mark. Lees-McRae kept the game on the fence throughout the next 10 minutes, cutting the lead to 57-56 on a clutch three-pointer by Lewis with 2:23 to play.
Kelly would counter for the Buffaloes with five points in the final two minutes, converting three of four free throws and adding a layup to close out the victory for Milligan.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats travel to Boone, N.C. to take on NCAA Division I Appalachian State University in their final exhibition of the preseason at 5 p.m.
- LMC -