Comeback Bid Falls Short, Warriors Fall 96-89 to Lees-McRae

Courtesy Bolton Photo
Courtesy Bolton Photo

CENTRAL, S.C. – Cameron Solomon scored 25 of his game-high 30 in the second half but it wasn't enough as the Warriors couldn't overcome a big early deficit in falling to Lees-McRae 96-89 on Saturday evening.

Solomon and Buster Walker combined to score 56 points in the game, 37 of the team's 57 second half points. Solomon finished the game 12 of 17 from the free throw line but was 9 of 11 in the second half. Walker scored 14 in the first half to keep the Warriors somewhat close, close enough to at least make things interesting in the second half.

The Warriors fell behind by 23, 55-32, at halftime after the Bobcats connected on 7 of 13 from long range in the first half and 59 percent from the floor. The Warriors shot 58 percent in the first half but didn't help their own cause with 14 first half turnovers. They gave the ball away 25 times in the game. LMC turned it over just 11 times, but nine in the second half.

The game was tied at 12-12 early in the first half but the Bobcats embarked on a 14-2 run to seize a 12-point lead. Another 19-4 run put the Bobcats up 28 and later pushed the lead out to 29 at 53-24 with 3:25 to play in the half.

The Warriors showed some life to close the half on an 8-2 run and carried that momentum into the second half to extend their run to 18-4. Suddenly it was just a 15 point game at 57-42 with 15:20 to play.

The Warriors whittled the lead down to 10 at 87-77 and finally got within 10 for good at 80-72 with 4:31 to play as Solomon connected on a three after an offensive rebound from Josh Coleman. Another three from Solomon on the next possession brought the Warriors to within five at 80-75.

Solomon converted a three-point play to bring the Warriors to within three at 85-82 and after a LMC miss, Josh Coleman made a pair of free throws to draw the Warriors to within one at 85-84.

After the Bobcats' Jacquise Moore made two free throws, Solomon made one of two. The Warriors got the offensive rebound and on the second chance, Kenny Holmes missed a three that would have put the Warriors ahead. Instead, the Bobcats grabbed the rebound and converted 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch as the Warriors commited a turnover and missed a shot before a flagrant foul on Holmes allowed the Bobcats to push their lead to 93-85 and retain possession.

The Warriors shot an impressive 61.5 percent from the floor but committed 25 turnovers. The Bobcats scored 29 points off of the Warriors' turnovers. The Bobcats shot 54.5 percent overall but didn't make a three in the second half. LMC made 72.5 percent (29 of 40) free throws while the Warriors made 22 of 31 (71 percent).

Dwayne Bryant recorded double digit rebounds with a game-high 13, his seventh such game this season and the fifth consecutive game. Kenny Holmes added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Warriors.

The Warriors will be back in action on Tuesday as they host King for the second game in this four-game home stand. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.