BELMONT, N.C. -- Six Belmont Abbey players topped double figures -- including DeQuan Abrom and Myron Carmon with 25 each -- but Lees-McRae rallied for a 116-109 overtime victory over the Crusaders in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action Wednesday night. Carmon's effort was a career-high and also featured three assists and two steals.
Deion Lane, Markel Pollard, Ben Ferguson and LJ McCoy all chipped in 11 for The Abbey (10-13, 5-8) with Lane adding a career-high-tying 15 boards for his ninth double-double of the season (15th career). Kamil Williams of Lees-McRae (15-7, 9-4) led all scorers with 37 points, 27 of which came on nine three-pointers.
Both teams started out on fire, with the Crusaders hitting 59.5 percent from the field in the first half for a season-best 61 points, while the Bobcats countered with 50 points on 61.3 percent shooting. Belmont Abbey used an 18-2 run late in the first half to turn a 40-36 lead into an 18-point advantage, 56-38 with 2:56 to play. However, LMC chipped away, closing to within 11 at intermission with a 9-2 spurt over the final 2:08.
The run continued into the second half as the Bobcats started out 19-7 to take the lead at 69-68 with 14:55 left in regulation. Belmont Abbey built the lead back to nine, 89-80 with 6:14 left, with a 9-2 run of its own, but Lees-McRae came back. It closed to one on a Williams layup, then again on a Jordan Turner three with 2:26 to play. A jumper by Abrom pushed the BAC lead to 100-97 with 1:45 left, but two free throws 30 seconds later brought the difference back to one, 100-99. Carmon hit the first of two at the charity stripe with 56 ticks left, but three successive turnovers allowed a game-tying layup with 23 seconds left in regulation. Both teams missed shots in the final five seconds that could have won the game.
In overtime, Lees-McRae scored seven of the first eight points to open a six-point edge, 108-102 by the midway point, then hit all eight of its free-throw attempts in the final 50 seconds to preserve the win.
Belmont Abbey has a week off before continuing its homestand against Barton next Wednesday at the Wheeler Center.