Belmont Abbey sophomore forward Deion Lane led all scorers with 25 points, one shy of his career-high, but Lees-McRae outscored the Crusaders 52-40 in the second half to pull away for a 90-77 victory this evening in Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats improve to 4-5 overall and 2-0 in Conference Carolinas, while the Crusaders drop to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the league.
The Crusaders led for most of the first half, building the advantage to as high as 15 points with 11:06 to go, but the Bobcats used a 10-5 run to close the period to carry a 38-37 lead into the break. The Crusaders led 31-27 with 5:51 to go before the Bobcats run gave them a lead they would never relinquish.
Lane, who scored the Crusaders first eight points of the half, ended the period with 12 points on 4-7 shooting from the field. The Crusaders shot 47 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, while the Bobcats converted at a 41 percent clip.
The hosts added to its lead in the second half as the Bobcats opened the second period on a 17-9 run to pull away for good. Lees-McRae shot 52 percent in the second half, matching the number of points it put on the board.
Lane led all scorers with 25 points on 8-12 shooting, including 4-6 from three point range, to go along with five rebounds and a steal. Freshman guard Spencer Wilson added a career-high 14 points on 4-7 shooting. Drexler Clark and Markel Pollard both added 11 points as the Crusaders shot 46 percent (23-49) from the floor. Nicholas Fullard and Nick Hough both led all players with seven rebounds.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Saturday at 4:00 when it welcomes Mount Olive to the Wheeler Center.