BANNER ELK, N.C. – Rivalry contests are always exciting, especially when conference tournament seeding is on the line and that is what the fans in Banner Elk were treated to on Tuesday night in a matchup of two of the top teams in Conference Carolinas. The King University men’s basketball team opened up a lead in the first half, only to see the homestanding Bobcats comeback and hold a lead for most of the second half. King took their first lead of the second half with 1:03 remaining and held on for the 92-90 victory.
FINAL SCORE: King 92, Lees-McRae 90
LOCATION: Williams Gymnasium, Banner Elk, N.C.
RECORDS: King 22-5, 17-2 Conference Carolinas; Lees-McRae 16-13, 12-7 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The tandem ofC.J. Good and Hunter LeVeau gave King a quick 5-0 lead as Good hit a triple six seconds in, and LeVeau connected on a jump shot 30 seconds later.
- Lees-McRae came back and evened the tally before King started to pull away as Good drilled a pair of triples andMikquell Jackson made a layup, pushing the King lead to 21-13 following the 8-0 spurt.
- Derick Popelater connected on back-to-back triples to give King their largest lead of the game at 37-21 with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
- Lees-McRae went on an 8-2 run, cutting their deficit to 10 points before Good hit a triple.
- The Bobcats answered with a trifecta of their own to start another run. In all, the Bobcats went on a 16-3 run to take a 48-15 lead with four minutes left in the first half.
- Mack Owensmade a layup to even the tally at 51-51, but the Bobcats answered with a triple in the final minute to take a 54-51 lead at the break.
- King shot 58.1 percent from the floor in the first half while the Bobcats shot 51.3 percent in the opening frame.
- Lees-McRae also went 10-for-25 from long range while King was 8-for-15 from three in the first half.
- The Bobcats continued to shoot well early in the half before the King defense settled in a slowed down the shooting attack.
- LeVeau evened the tally at 56-56 with a triple two minutes in before the Bobcats drilled back-to-back triples.
- Pope threw down a dunk before the Bobcats rolled off nine straight points on three consecutive triples to grab their largest lead of the game at 78-67 with 11 minutes remaining.
- Trailing 79-70, Jackson started a 10-1 King run with a layup.Drew Standifer and Good converted layups before Jackson evened the score at 80-80 with a free throws with 6:30 remaining.
- Lees-McRae regained their advantage and held a 90-86 lead with 3:02 remaining before King closed the game on another run.
- Jackson made a free throw, pulling King within three and Good made a layup to make the score 90-89 with 2:34 remaining.
- On the defensive end LeVeau came up with a block to keep King within one and Owens later hit a pair of free throws to give King their first lead of the second half at 91-90 with 1:03 remaining.
- Lees-McRae missed a triple in the final minute and got the offensive rebound, but LeVeau came up with a steal to give the ball back to King.
- Calvin Walkerwas fouled and split a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left to give King a 92-90 lead.
- Lees-McRae got one last shot off at the horn that nearly went in, but found the back iron to give King the 92-90 victory.
- Good led King with 18 points, going 4-for-4 from three point range.
- Jackson followed with 15 points and seven rebounds while Owens also tallied 15 points and seven rebounds.
- LeVeau made it four Tornado in double figures with 14 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds.
- King shot 52.6 percent from the floor in the game, including a 43.5 percent from long range.
FOR THE FOES
- The King defense held Lees-McRae to a 40.0 field goal percent in the second half as the Tornado shot 46.4 percent from the field in the game.
- The Bobcats also knocked down 17 triples, going 17-for-40 from long range.
- Lepreece Lynch led the Bobcats with 19 points.
- Austin Anderson followed with 15 points and six rebounds.
- Chad Hicks also reached double figures with 10 points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The 52.6 field goal percentage for the Tornado is their highest mark of the season, and the third time they have shot better than 50.0 percent in a game this year.
- The Tornado close the regular season on Friday night at Limestone College. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
- Lees-McRae closes the regular season at North Greenville University on Friday night.