Photo courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team takes the floor for the first time in 2018-19 on Saturday (Nov. 3), facing Appalachian State in their first Division I exhibition contest.
About the Bobcats - LMC went 10-17 a year ago, including a 7-13 mark in Conference Carolinas play. LMC finished last season fourth in the league in scoring averaging 72.0 points per game, while being seventh in the league in scoring defense giving up 74.2 points per game. LMC was third in the league in rebounding (46.1) a year ago, tied for fourth in offensive rebounds per game (14.6) and third in the league in defensive rebounds per game (31.8). LMC was also sixth in the league last season from long range at 31.5 percent, and eighth in the league from the floor at 36.5 percent.
The Bobcats return three key players in sophomore forward Meg Crawford, senior guard Brea Forbes and senior forward Markia Stacey. Crawford returns to the hardwood after a freshman season in which she scored 8.7 points per game and was also second on the team hauling in 5.5 boards per game. She led the team in field goal percentage, scoring 53.6 percent of the time. Crawford was also the team's shot-blocking leader with two per game. Forbes returns as the team's leading scorer a season ago, pouring in 11.3 points per game to finish the season in the top 20 in the conference. Playing and starting all 27 games, she averaged 28.2 minutes per game and shot 34.4 percent from the floor and also 27.7 percent from long range. Forbes also led the Bobcats on the glass, grabbing a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. Her rebounding average was 15th in the league last season. Stacey returns for her senior season as the team's lone all-conference selection from last season, being selected to the all-conference third team a year ago. Stacey was the Bobcats first all-conference selection since the 2012-13 season. She was second on the team in scoring with 11.0 points per game, and also was third on the team in rebounding pulling down 4.3 boards per game. She led the conference in assists with 153 and also led in assists per game with 5.9. Her assists total notched a new program single-season record, and was also 13th individually in all of Division II. Her assist per game mark was also 10th in all of Division II.
About the Opponents - Appalachian State went 8-23 a year ago, including 5-13 in the Sun Belt Conference. Entering last year's Sun Belt Conference tournament as the No. 9 seed, the Mountaineers defeated eighth-seeded Arkansas State 79-68 before falling to top-seeded Little Rock 66-34. App State finished last in the league last season in scoring offense at 56.8 points per game, while finishing seventh in scoring defense giving up 66.7 points per game. The Mountaineers were fourth in the Sun Belt in rebounding last season pulling down 40.6 boards per game, while averaging 13.7 offensive rebounds per game (third) and 26.9 defensive rebounds per game (fourth). App State was ninth in the Sun Belt from beyond the arc last season at 29.9 percent, and 11th in shooting at 37.0 percent from the floor.
App State had three players named to the Sun Belt preseason all-conference squad in Madi Story, Bayley Plummer and Pre Stanley. Story and Plummer were named to the preseason all-league second team, while Stanley was selected to the third team. Story missed last season with an injury, but posted career numbers the season before. She was the team's leader in scoring two seasons ago at 13.3 points per game, while also leading the team in rebounds per game (6.8) and three-pointers (38). She was the only player in the Sun Belt to lead her team in all three of those categories that season. Plummer was the team's lone All-Conference selection a year ago, being 13th in the country and leading the Sun Belt in rebounding at 11.5 boards per game. She totaled a league-best 13 double-doubles, while being one of two Sun Belt players last season to pull down 20 rebounds in a game. Stanley was the team's leading scorer a season ago at 11.4 points per game, also leading the team in steals per game (1.1), free throws made (98) and free throws attempted (130). She was one of two freshmen in the league to average at least 10 points and five rebounds per game.
Series History vs. Opponents - This will be the first-ever meeting between Lees-McRae and Appalachian State.