Banner Elk, N.C. – A late North Greenville rally fell short on Tuesday night as Lees-McRae downed the Crusaders 85-77 in Conference Carolinas play.
North Greenville led by 12-points early on in the game but the Bobcats stormed back to grab a 35-32 lead at halftime. Lees-McRae controlled the game for the rest of the way, leading by as many as 15-points with just over four minutes remaining.
The Bobcats seemed to get a little comfortable with their sizeable lead though as the Crusaders fought back with a late surge, much ado to the work of Miguel Cartagena. Cartagena led NGU on a 9-0 run, scoring seven of the nine points to cut LMC’s lead to just six points. Tyland Crawford added another two to make the score 73-67 with 3:23 left.
The Crusaders would keep it close the rest of the way, but the Bobcats were able to keep NGU at arms length as they took advantage of late trips to the free throw line. Lees-McRae also took advantage of NGU miscues, turning 22 North Greenville turnovers into 24-points.
Cartagena led the Crusaders with 24-points on Tuesday night while going four of six from three point range. Daniel Burchette added 22-points to the cause. Burchette was equally impressive from deep knocking down five of his six attempts. The Crusaders shot 58-percent as a team and 66.7 percent from three point range.
North Greenville falls to 6-12 on the season and 1-9 in Conference Carolinas play. The Crusaders will host Erskine College on Friday night at 7:30 and turn around and play Emmanuel on Saturday at 7:30pm in Tigerville.