Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville men's basketball team dropped its third straight game on Tuesday night after a 101-88 defeat to the Bobcats of Lees-McRae College, in Hayes Gymnasium.
NGU opened the game on a 6-0 run, but the Bobcats quickly worked their way back into contention answering with a 9-0 run of their own to gain a 9-0 advantage. Lees-McRae clung to a small margin for about two minutes before its second scoring outburst of the first period. A 14-3 run spurred by four three points earned the Bobcats a 23-11 lead with 12:46 left before halftime.
The quick outburst would spark the LMC offense, as the Bobcats continued to pour on points from behind the three point line. The visitors finished the first period shooting 53.8 percent from three point range, going 7-13. North Greenville would struggle to get any offense going for the remainder of the first half, as a pesky LMC defense would force 12 NGU turnovers, turning the miscues into 16 points. North Greenville shot just 38.5 percent from the field, but out-rebounded the Bobcats 19-15. LMC would carry a comfortable 56-34 lead into intermission.
The Bobcats would extend their lead out of the locker room, opening the second half on an 11-6 run. The Crusaders were answerless for much of the second half, but were finally able to put together a run late in the half. NGU chiseled away at the Lees-McRae lead for several minutes, before an 11-4 run that started with 7:05 left in the game cut the Bobcat lead down to single digits. The 8 point advantage with 3:50 left was the first time NGU trailed by just a single digit since 14:13 left in the first half, a lead which stood at nine for LMC.
The Crusaders would eventually cut the lead down to six points, but LMC would capitalize on its final possessions of the game, closing out North Greenville with a 9-2 run to earn the road victory. The Crusaders had four players in double figures Tuesday, led by Korval McElroy who led all scorers with 19 points. Micah Parker also finished the game with 19 points while Spencer Reaves had 18 and Phillip Brown cashed in 17.
North Greenville will host Columbia International on Thursday night with a scheduled tip time of 7:30. The Crusaders will host Erskine College on Saturday afternoon at 4pm.