Truesdale's Late Free-Throw Heroics Pushes LMC Over Tusculum, 71-70

Truesdale's Late Free-Throw Heroics Pushes LMC Over Tusculum, 71-70

BRISTOL, Tenn. --- Senior Kabrina Truesdale hit a free-throw with .1 second remaining to lift the Lees-McRae women's basketball to a 71-70 victory against Tusculum Friday evening  in the SAC/Conference Carolinas Challenge at the Student Center Complex in Bristol, Tenn.

The Bobcats (1-0) won their season opener for the first time since the 2011-12 season while sophomore Niroska Perez (Asheville, N.C.) poured in a career-high 20 points. The Pioneers (0-1) struggled from the free-throw line (50%) while Rainey Story dropped a team-high 20 points.

LMC senior Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) stuffed the stat book with 16 rebounds, 10 points, five steals and a pair of assists.

The Bobcats jumped out to an early 19-9 lead while Perez ripped off nine consecutive points during the span.

Sophomore Kelsey Wypych (Sevierville, Tenn.) drained a three with 5:14 remaining in the first half to give LMC a 13-point lead, 31-18.

The Pioneers' Shynese Whitener closed the half out with six straight points while the Bobcats held a 36-29 lead.

TC's Maelyn Cutshaw connected on a three to give the Pioneers their first lead since the 16:40 mark in the first half with 13:25 remaining in regulation.

Story and Whitener supplied TC's offense while it inched out to a 58-55 lead with 6:53 on the clock.

Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) tallied five points to swing the momentum and give LMC the 66-65 lead.

Freshman Lexus Norwood (Knoxville, Tenn.) calmly sank two free-throws to knot it at 70 with 31 seconds left.

Truesdale would be fouled after driving the lane with less than a second remaining.

TC would burn three timeouts to try to ice the senior after she missed the front end, but it was to no avail when Truesdale sank the second one, securing the Bobcat win.

LMC returns to action Saturday at 2 p.m. to battle Mars Hill in Bristol, Tenn.

- LMC -