Photo courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team fell in Conference Carolinas action at home on Wednesday (Dec. 12) to visiting Southern Wesleyan by a score of 93-88.
Game Summary - The two teams traded buckets early, before Lees-McRae took control part way through the first quarter. LMC led 6-4 two minutes in, before a string of buckets put the Bobcats ahead by double digits. After Markia Stacey and Iva Krstevska traded three-pointers, Stacey would drill another triple to give the Bobcats a 10-point lead with 4:39 to play in the quarter. The Bobcats led by at least 10 into the final minute of the frame, before another Krstevska long ball served as the final score of the quarter. Lees-McRae led 26-18 after 10 minutes.
Lees-McRae would see its lead trimmed down to three just under four minutes into the quarter, after a Southern Wesleyan run over 3:36 got the Warriors back in the game. Over the next few minutes, Lees-McRae's lead would fluctuate between three and six points. Another triple from Krstevska with just over three minutes to play in the half got SWU back within one, before Brea Forbes would sink a pair at the line to get the lead back up to three. SWU would get to the line each of its next two possessions, with Emily Waters and Krstevska both sinking a pair to put the Warriors up 38-37 with 2:33 to play in the half. That score would hold into the final minute, before Tanayja Williams made one of two free throws to put SWU up by two. Hope Ramsey would trade a triple with a Breanna Richardson jumper, before Meg Crawford sunk a mid-range jumper at the horn to send Lees-McRae to the locker room with a 42-41 lead.
SWU doubled up Lees-McRae in the third quarter 31-15, beginning with a 12-3 run over the first three minutes. After Denisha Hall extended the run out of a timeout, Taylor Fluette drained a three-pointer to get the Bobcats back within single digits with six and a half minutes to play in the quarter. Jessica Sparks would get SWU back up by 10 four minutes into the quarter, and SWU would see its lead fluctuate between 10 and 16 points over the next six minutes.
Lees-McRae would out-score SWU 31-21 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to complete the comeback. SWU would control the first two and a half minutes of the quarter extending their lead to as many as 17, before the Bobcats would find a way to claw back into the game. A 15-0 run over three minutes and change left the Bobcats down just 79-76, before two free throws from Krstevska calmed the Bobcats attack. Lisana Burnett and Crawford would trade buckets, before the Warriors would take an 84-78 lead into the final three minutes. SWU would keep the Bobcats at a few possessions' distance for the remainder of the game, while they were able to seal the victory at the free throw line.
Stats Rundown - Lees-McRae shot 35.6 percent (26-73) from the floor, 31.4 percent (11-35) from long range and 83.3 percent (25-30) from the charity stripe. Forbes and Stacey each posted a 22-point effort, which leaves Stacey just six points shy of 1,000 for her Lees-McRae career. Crawford was the third Bobcat in double-figures with 16 points. Fluette also contributed nine points in her final game as a Bobcat. Lees-McRae lost a tight battle on the boards 43-38, pulling down 16 on the offensive end and 22 on the defensive end. Forbes also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in the win. Stacey also paced the game with eight assists on the night.
Up Next - The Bobcats are back in action on Saturday (Dec. 15) when they host North Greenville in Conference Carolinas action. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.