Crusaders weather second half run, hold off Bobcats in league play

TIGERVILLE, S.C. --- Sophomore Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) poured in 17 points to lead the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team on Tuesday evening, as North Greenville University outscored the Bobcats by a 42-35 margin in the second half en route to an 89-55 win in Conference Carolinas play.

North Greenville (9-11, 8-13 CC) shot 54.7 percent from the floor on the night, including a clip of 60.6 percent in the first half, while holding Lees-McRae (9-15, 7-14 CC) to a field goal percentage of 25.7 percent in the contest. The Crusaders won the battle on the glass by a 50-39 margin, including a 40-22 advantage on the defensive boards, as the Bobcats held a 17-10 edge in offensive rebounds.

Truesdale led the way for the Bobcats with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, going 5-for-10 from the free throw line and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds. Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) added 12 points with a 3-for-8 night from the floor, as Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) and Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) chipped in eight markers and seven boards, respectively.

Timisty Nelson paced North Greenville with a double-double, posting 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, as Alisha Hope led all scorers with 21 markers on 9-of-12 shooting. Ashleigh Edwards added a game-high 13 assists, while Tyler Powers chipped in 11 points with a 3-for-6 night from beyond the arc.

North Greenville jumped out to an early 22-6 lead in the first half before the Bobcats responded with a 7-0 run, cutting the advantage to 22-13 on a Truesdale jumper with 12:06 left in the period. The Crusaders would answer with a 23-6 surge over the next nine minutes, pushing the lead to 45-19 following a triple by Landrie Fox at the 3:09 mark before taking a 47-20 advantage into the intermission.

The Bobcats battled back in the second half, opening the period with a 17-9 run to cut the lead to 56-37 on a jumper by Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) with 12:16 to go. Lees-McRae continued to hang with the Crusaders over the next several minutes, answering an NGU spurt with a triple by De Souza at the 5:36 mark.

North Greenville would close out the win with a 14-7 run over the final five minutes, as the Bobcats forced the Crusaders to fight for every point down the stretch. The Bobcats capped the night with a 4-2 spurt in the final minute, including a late jumper by Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) and a pair of Munson freebies.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats host No. 9 Limestone College in their regular season finale at 5:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats will honor their senior class of Juliane Faltus (Berlin, Germany), Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.), Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) and Smith as part of the night's festivities.

- LMC -