CENTRAL, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan nearly let a 24-point second half lead fall by the wayside but held on for a 72-67 win over Lees-McRae in Tysinger Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. The Warriors battled back after suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Bobcats back in November.
Brooke Strickland came off the bench to knock down 4 of 5 triples and scored 14 of her 17 points in the first half as the Warriors (6-5, 4-4 CC) built a 44-28 halftime advantage. Strickland connected on all three three-point attempts in the first half and made all five free throws.
The Warriors trailed 24-22 with 4:34 to play in the half but Strickland connected on back-to-back threes to put the Warriors back in front and followed with two free throws all in a two minute span. She added two more free throws and a four-point play just before the half that put the Warriors up 42-28.
The Warriors started the second half by scoring the first six points and saw their lead reach 24 at 54-30 with 14:56 to play. The Bobcats slowly chipped away and used a 12-0 run to cut the lead down to 10 at 60-50. Bri Seda made back-to-back jumpers to put the Warriors back in front by 14 but another 7-0 brought the Bobcats back to within seven at 64-57.
Lees-McRae kept the Warriors close but were never able to make a run to get in front as SWU made 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to pick up their second straight win.
In addition to Strickland's 17, Seda added 17 points of her own on 7 of 11 shooting. Christiana Perkins was also in double figures with 16 points and 10 rebounds, her third of the year. Cayse Branyon and Shyla Coleman each scored seven points as Coleman added seven rebounds.
The Warriors pulled down 15 offensive rebounds which led to 13 second chance points. Lees-McRae pulled down 20 offensive rebounds but somehow managed just three second chance points. The Bobcats scored quite a bit in transition as they put up 28 points off of turnovers and 19 fast break points. SWU countered with 17 points off turnovers and 15 fast break points.
The game might have gone differently but the Bobcats made just 4 of 15 free throws (26.7 percent). SWU knocked down 15 of 20 (75 percent) at the stripe. SWU also shot better from long range, coming in at 38.5 percent (5 of 13) while LMC connected at just a 26 percent clip (7 of 27). The Warriors shot 42.6 percent from the floor as LMC shot 40 percent.
The Warriors will host King on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., the second game of their four-game home stand.