BANNER ELK, N.C. – Playing in its first overtime of the season, the Lees-McRae College women's basketball came up just short to Belmont Abbey College Monday afternoon, 84-78. LMC's record moves to 1-12 overall and 1-5 in the conference with the loss.
In the opening quarter, both teams were clicking along well offensively as they shot near the 50 percent mark for the frame. All five starters for the Bobcats scored at least one field goal in the first with Brea Forbes leading the way with five points. The diverse offense helped LMC take a 16-14 lead into the second quarter. It was just the fourth time this season that Lees-McRae has led at the end of the first stanza.
After producing well on offense in the first, the Bobcats went cold shooting just 21.4 percent from the field in quarter number two. The cold shooting by Lees-McRae was enough for Belmont Abbey to take the lead about two minutes into the quarter. BAC extended its lead all the way to as much as 10 points before settling for a nine-point advantage (34-25) heading to the half.
LMC got its shooting touch back in the third connecting on 11-of-24 attempts and knocked down a pair of three-pointers. On the flip side, Belmont Abbey shot just 30.7 percent to let Lees-McRae back into the game. Jordan Soares was a major reason for the hot-shooting by the Bobcats scoring 12 points in the third. Due to Soares's and the other Bobcats's work, the deficit shrunk to seven going to the fourth.
The Bobcats continued to battle the Crusaders and eventually tied the score at 70 with just 15 seconds left in regulation thanks to a three-pointer by Markia Stacey. The three by Stacey forced the first overtime game of the season for LMC. The last overtime game for Lees-McRae was Feb. 6, 2016 against Barton.
Unfortunately the Bobcats were outscored 13-7 in the overtime period to fall for the ninth straight time. Caitlin Brown scored four of the team's seven points in the extra frame. Additionally, the Crusaders went five-for-six from the field and three-for-four from the free throw line to seal the win.
Stacey led LMC with 22 points on Monday, which is a new season-high for the sophomore guard. Soares notched a career-best 20 points and knocked down 10 field goals. That is the most field goals by a Bobcat player this season.
LMC will return to the court Wednesday when it makes the trek to Mount Olive. The Trojans knocked off Lees-McRae earlier this season by a 100-85 final score in Banner Elk. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.