Photo courtesy of Matt Jones
FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team fell in its Conference Carolinas opener at Emmanuel (Ga.) 68-61 on Saturday (Dec. 1).
Game Summary - Emmanuel (Ga.) led 11-10 after a slow-moving first quarter, which saw Emmanuel with only four points with two minutes to play in the period. After Meg Crawford's two free throws 54 seconds in, the Bobcats used a 6-2 run over five minutes and change to jump out to a 10-4 lead. Emmanuel countered with a 7-0 run to end the quarter to take the lead.
Emmanuel would lead for most of the second quarter, before the Bobcats would erase a five-point deficit with just 1:04 left in the half to knot the game at 27-all headed to the break. Emmanuel extended their run from the end of the first quarter into the second, scoring the first five points of the frame. The Lions were able to extend their lead to five several times, and has high as six with two minutes to play in the half. Destiny Johnson drilled the first three-pointer of the game for either team with 46 seconds left in the quarter to get the Bobcats back within one possession, before Meg Crawford scored a second-chance layup through contact and was sent to the line for one shot. The sophomore knocked it down to tie the game, and then came up with a huge block at the other end to send the game to the half tied.
Emmanuel out-scored Lees-McRae 23-17 in the third to take a 50-44 lead to the final 10 minutes. After the teams traded buckets and remained tied, a three-pointer from Stacey and a bucket from Johnson put the Bobcats up 37-31 with just over five minutes to play in the quarter. Emmanuel would respond by inching closer and closer before tying the game yet again at 39-all with 3:30 to play in the quarter. Back-to-back Lion three-pointers got the home team up by six quickly, before Breana Hardnett responded with Lees-McRae's next five points to get the Bobcats back within one with 1:35 to play in the frame. Another two-possession scoring sequence for Emmanuel in the final 50 seconds of the quarter would get them up by six headed to the fourth.
The first two minutes of the fourth quarter were scoreless, before Emmanuel would extend its lead to nine with one free throw from Emily Drelinski later followed by a Taylor Delasbour layup. Stacey knocked down another three-pointer to get the Bobcats back within two possessions, before Johnson would counter an Emmanuel bucket with a triple to get Lees-McRae back within five with just under six minutes to play. Emmanuel would stretch its lead to as many as 10 with less than four minutes to play, before Lees-McRae would trim its deficit back down to just four beginning with an Alexis Ammons layup followed by a Johnson jumper. After a Drelinski bucket got the Lions back up by eight with two minutes to play, back-to-back buckets from Crawford and Johnson got the Bobcats back within 62-58. Breanna Locke and Johnson would trade long balls to leave the Lions up 64-61 with under a minute to play, before Emmanuel would ice the game from the free throw line.
Stats Rundown - The Bobcats shot 36.4 percent (24-66) from the floor, 26.9 percent (7-26) from downtown and 85.7 percent (6-7) from the foul line in the loss. Johnson led all scorers with a career-high 18 points, while Crawford was the only other Bobcat to score in double figures with 10 points. Five other Bobcats contributed points in the contest. Lees-McRae pulled down 39 total rebounds in the game, including 13 on the offensive end and 26 on the defensive end. Crawford led the effort on the glass finishing one rebound shy of her third double-double of the season with nine.
Up Next - The Bobcats return home to Williams Gymnasium on Tuesday (Dec. 4) to take on Limestone in Conference Carolinas action. Tip-off for that contest is set for 5:30 p.m.