Photo courtesy of Matt Jones
GAFFNEY, S.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's basketball team earned an 85-82 overtime win at Limestone College in Conference Carolinas action on Wednesday night (Feb. 6), sweeping the Saints in the regular season for the first time since 2004-05.
Game Summary - Lees-McRae played their highest-scoring quarter of the season to open the game, leading Limestone 24-24 after 10 minutes. The Bobcats shot over 60 percent in the first quarter, including 7-9 from beyond the arc in the frame. The Bobcats saw their first double-digit lead around the four-minute mark, before Limestone would trim the lead back down to eight with under five minutes to play in the quarter. Lees-McRae re-gained a double-digit lead with 4:17 to play in the quarter, and would hold it until just before the two-minute mark of the frame. Lees-McRae would re-gain their double-digit lead heading to the second quarter.
Limestone won the second quarter 18-14, but Lees-McRae took a 48-42 lead to the locker room. Lees-McRae would see its lead trimmed down to eight, before re-gaining the double-digit lead two and a half minutes in with a three-pointer from Tiana Shuff. Limestone would trim the lead back down to nine around the halfway mark of the quarter, before the teams would go cold for about two minutes. A three-pointer from Brea Forbes would put the Bobcats back up by 12 with around three minutes to play in the half, before Jayla Morrow hit a jumper with under three minutes to play to cut the lead back to 10. Two Morrow free throws would cut the lead down to eight, before an Alaan West triple would get Limestone within just five with a minute and a half left in the quarter. Lynadia Whiting would make one of two free throws, before a layup from Jordan Soares would represent the final bucket of the first half.
Lees-McRae appeared to be pulling away for the first part of the second half, going on an 11-0 run over the first 5:15 of the third quarter. With the run, the Bobcats would extend their lead to as many as 17. Once Limestone scored their first bucket of the half, the Saints would go on an 8-0 run of their own to cut the lead down to nine. Lees-McRae was able to stretch its lead back up to 12 toward the end of the frame to take a 64-52 lead to the fourth.
Limestone opened the fourth on an 8-5 run to cut the lead to nine over the first four minutes, before Lees-McRae would stretch its lead back up to 12 with just under five minutes to play. Back-to-back three-pointers by Reagan McCray would cut the lead back down to six with three minutes to play, before the clock would tick down into the final two minutes. Limestone would get within four with 1:29 to play in regulation on a layup by Niya Goudelock, before the game would enter its final minute of regulation. Laiken Wade would score a layup with 24 seconds left and complete the three-point play with a free throw, before Limestone would foul Forbes and send her to the line with 14 seconds left. After Forbes made one of two at the line, Morrow would score a layup with seven seconds left to tie the game at 75 and send the contest to overtime.
Lees-McRae would win the overtime period 10-7 to secure the win and the season sweep. Lees-McRae would score the first four points of the overtime period over the first 1:19, before two Morrow free throws would put the Saints back within two with less than two minutes to play. Alexis Ammons would later make one of two at the free throw line, leaving the Bobcats up by three with a minute and a half to play. In the overtime's final minute, Markia Stacey would trade a three-pointer with a McCray layup to leave the teams separated by four. After one good Ammons free throw in the final 10 seconds, McCray would knock down a turn-around triple to leave Limestone trailing by just two. Breana Hardnett would be fouled and sent to the line where she would make one of two, and Limestone couldn't cash in on their final chance.
Stats Rundown - Lees-McRae shot 39.5 percent (30-76) from the field, 42.9 percent (15-35) from beyond the arc and 50.0 percent (10-20) from the foul line in the win. Forbes led the scoring effort with a game-high 20 points, while Stacey was right on her heels with 19. Ammons also contributed 12, while Hardnett added 10. Lees-McRae pulled down 48 rebounds in the win, with 16 on the offensive end and 32 on the defensive end. Forbes completed her second double-double of the season with a game-high 12 boards, while Lakitia Basnight also pulled down 10.
Up Next - Lees-McRae (11-11, 8-7 Conference Carolinas) will take on Bluefield State (W.V.) on Saturday (Feb. 9) in a non-conference tilt slated for a 2 p.m. tip-off.