BANNER ELK, N.C. – A three-pointer with 12 seconds left from Lees-McRae sent the Southern Wesleyan women's basketball team to their second straight loss, 68-66, in the Conference Carolinas opener for both teams.
The Warriors had taken a 66-64 lead on Brooke Strickland's three with 58 seconds left but the Bobcats fought back. Alex Anderson made the second of two free throws and after a missed shot by Christiana Perkins, Mackenzi Blankenship knocked down a three in the corner to give the Bobcats a 68-66 advantage. After a timeout the Warriors turned the ball over that ended the game.
Christiana Perkins recorded her second straight double-double with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Perkins was 8-of-17 from the floor and made 5-of-8 from the free throw line. She added six steals and one assist.
The Warriors (1-2, 0-1 CC) shot 42.6 percent from the floor but struggled from beyond the arc, making just 4-of-18, just 22.2 percent. The Bobcats (2-1, 1-0 CC) made 47.4 percent from the floor and 7-of-19 from beyond the arc. Both teams left a lot of points at the free throw line as SWU made just 16-of-28 while LMC was just 7-of-16.
After the Warriors scored the first basket of the game, the Bobcats embarked on a 16-2 run to take a commanding lead with 14:12 left in the first half. The lead reached its zenith at 13 points, 24-11, with 10:17 to play. Over the next six the minutes the Warriors cut into that lead, closing to four at 27-23 on a Strickland three.
After the Bobcats matched with a three of their own, the Warriors scored six straight as Cayse Branyon, Perkins and Bates all made layups. LMC's Kathleen Casey made one of two free throws before Bates added two free throws of her own to tie the game at 31-31. The Bobcats closed the half on a 5-1 run to take a 36-32 lead into the break.
Neither team could gain the upper hand in the second half as the Bobcats took an early six point lead but the Warriors quickly responded to tie the game at 44-44 with 14:17 left. The Warriors took their first lead since 2-0 with 11:45 to play as Shelby Gilbert made a jumper to give the Warriors a 47-46 lead. That started a 14-8 run where the Warriors gained a five point edge with 4:50 to play.
Lees-McRae was led by Alex Anderson's 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Bobcats had five players in double figures including two off the bench. The Bobcats scored 27 points off the bench while the Warriors had just five.
The Warriors outrebounded the Bobcats 42-38 and scored 23 points off 22 LMC turnovers. The Warriors turned the ball over 22 times as well which turned into 20 points for the Bobcats.
SWU will take almost a week off before returning to action on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at home against Erskine.