March 1, 2013

No. 9 Saints pull away from Bobcats, 94-72

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team placed four players in double figures, as the Bobcats dropped a hard-fought battle to No. 9 Limestone College by a score of 94-72 in Conference Carolinas play on Friday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

The Bobcats honored their senior class prior to tip-off, celebrating the careers of Juliane Faltus (Berlin, Germany), Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.) and Zukye Smith (Chesterfield, Va.) with an emotional pre-game ceremony.

Limestone (24-2, 21-1 CC) shot 57.1 percent from the floor on the night, including a 65.5 percent clip in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (9-16, 7-15 CC) to a field goal percentage of 36.1 percent in the contest. The Bobcats won the battle on the glass by a 37-35 margin, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive boards, as Lees-McRae tallied an assist on 17 of its 22 made field goals.

Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, knocking down four three-pointers, as Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.), Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) each added 10 markers. Flowers led the way for the seniors with eight points, while Smith chipped in six markers and three boards. Truesdale dished out a team-high six assists, as Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) added a contest-best eight rebounds.

Maria Young led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, connecting on six attempts from beyond the arc, as Stephanie Hayes nearly posted a double-double with 21 markers and a game-high nine assists. Morgan Brown added seven helpers, while Tia Williams chipped in 15 markers and five boards. Ashley Robinson recorded nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Limetone jumped out to an early 21-9 advantage before the Bobcats responded, cutting the lead to 26-24 with a 15-5 run that was capped by a Lewis triple and a Collins jumper with 6:29 to go in the half. The Saints quickly countered with a 15-6 spurt of their own, taking a 41-30 lead into the intermission following a late trey by Young.

Young and the Saints carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 22-10 run to push the advantage to 63-40 following back-to-back triples from Williams and Young at the 14:29 mark.

The Bobcats would battle for each and every ball throughout the remainder of the game, finishing strong with a 22-12 run over the final eight minutes of play, including a clutch jumper by Flowers with 2:14 left on the clock.

Lees-McRae is expected to return most of its core, including rising seniors Nataljia Cakarevic (Belgrade, Serbia), Megan Tate (High Point, N.C.), Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.), Lewis, and De Souza.

- LMC -