Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
BANNER ELK, N.C. – In their final home game of the season, the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team nearly knocked off one of the top three teams in the conference Wednesday at Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats, now 4-21 overall and 4-15 in league play, were edged by King (TN) University, 64-62, in their 2016-17 home finale.
In the opening 10 minutes, LMC's offense was clicking on all cylinders shooting 63.6 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from beyond the arc. Thanks to the sharp-shooting, the Bobcats were able to build an eight-point advantage on the Tornado after one quarter, 20-12.
King made some defensive adjustments in the second quarter and it was able to climb back into the game. The Tornado, which held LMC to just seven points in the second, took the lead with 4:22 to go in the second and grew their lead to three to close out the half, 30-27.
The Bobcats and Tornado went back and forth in the third with neither team able to gain much of an advantage. All 15 of LMC's points in the frame came from the duo of Breana Hardnett and Markia Stacey. Hardnett scored 10, while Stacey chipped in five. Going into the fourth quarter, King held a slim 44-42 lead.
The Tornado looked like they may run away in the opening minutes of the fourth as they built their lead to six points with just over eight minutes to go. Lees-McRae came back, however, to take the lead in the closing minutes. LMC held the lead with just 1:11 to go in regulation, 58-57, but King scored seven of the next 11 points to close out the 64-62 victory.
Lees-McRae had a pair of players in double figures Wednesday. Hardnett led all scorers with 21 points and Stacey notched 16 points. Brea Forbes paced LMC on the boards with seven rebounds and Anna Hairgrove led the team with three assists.
LMC will return to action Saturday when it travels to North Greenville. The Crusaders defeated LMC 77-61 earlier this season in Banner Elk. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.