Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
TIGERVILLE, S.C. – Despite surpassing the 90-point plateau for the third time this season, the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team fell in the final seconds to North Greenville University Tuesday night on the road, 93-91. The loss drops LMC's record to 4-6 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
North Greenville jumped out to an early lead on the Bobcats Tuesday night, but Lees-McRae would rebound to take a six-point lead at 25-19 in the latter stages of the opening frame. LMC would hold the advantage into the quarter break before NGU would mount a rally to regain the lead in the second. The Crusaders scored nine of the first 11 points in the second quarter to pull in front. Lees-McRae would jump back in front thanks to a combination of sharp-shooting from three-point range and free throw shooting. In the opening 20 minutes, LMC made five three-pointers and went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line. Those two factors led Lees-McRae to a four-point halftime lead, 46-42.
In the second half, both teams had a quarter where they controlled the pace of play. NGU outscored LMC 28-13 in the third quarter to open up a 14-point lead on the Bobcats late in the frame. Just like the Crusaders did in the third, Lees-McRae controlled the fourth quarter outscoring its opponent 32-23 in the final stanza. LMC got within three points of North Greenville with just 36 seconds remaining after Mackenzie Blankenship drained a three-pointer and then one point after Grace Canella connected on a jump shot with 16 seconds left. After a Crusader turnover, Lees-McRae had a possession with a chance to win the game with six seconds remaining. However, NGU's defense was up to the task as it did not allow the Bobcats to get a shot off in the final seconds to hold on for the 93-91 victory.
The duo of Markia Stacey and Blankenship totaled 19 and 18 points, respectively, to lead LMC on the scoreboard. Forwards Alexis Ammons and Grace Canella also reached double figures with 10 points each. Canella also paced LMC with seven rebounds on the night.
Lees-McRae will return to action Friday when it visits Barton in another Conference Carolinas matchup. Tip-off for that contest is set for 5:30 p.m.