BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Senior Austin Anderson closed out his storied career with a season-high 29 points and Lepreece Lynch chipped in with 15, but the No. 3 seed Lees-McRae men's basketball came up short in a heartbreaking 75-74 loss to No. 6 seed Limestone in a Conference Carolinas Quarterfinal game Tuesday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Saints (12-17) saw four starters turn in double figures while three of them played all 40 minutes. The Bobcats (16-15) finished the season with school records in wins and conference wins.
LC's Brolin Floyd turned in a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Anderson scored his first bucket with 14:28 on the clock to make it a 9-6 game in the Saints favor.
The visiting squad ripped off an 18-5 run to push the advantage to 16, 27-11.
LMC's Jordan Turner (Hickory, N.C.) ripped net on a triple before using a layup prior to an Isler three to cut the deficit to nine, 32-23.
Lynch (Winston-Salem, N.C.) lit up a loud crowd with a thunderous dunk after a steal before Anderson's layup made it 32-27.
The Saints produced a 6-0 run, all via free throws, before a pair from Anderson at the 1:35 mark.
The senior corralled a Jonathan Honore (Baton Rouge, La.) pass and drained a triple at the buzzer to end the first half, 40-32.
LC went 5-of-8 from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes.
Anderson and Turner scored all but two points during a 15-7 run while LMC tied the game at 47 with 13:41 on the clock.
Neither team would be able to get much of a lead for the next seven minutes.
Isler split two defenders and rattled the rim with a dunk to give coach Steve Hardin's squad a 57-55 lead.
The Saints' Teron Wallace drained a pair of threes during an 8-0 run, 63-57.
Wallace led his squad with 21 points.
Trailing by six, junior Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) buried a three to cut the deficit in half.
A layup from LC's Macoumba Kane pushed the lead back to five, but an Anderson bucket and Lynch three made it a two-point game, 74-72.
Lynch finished with 15 points.
Anderson sank a pair of free throws with 40 seconds remaining. LMC drew a charge with 25 on the game clock, but was unable to hit the game-winner as time expired.
- LMC -