MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill women's basketball team dropped their final game of 2017, falling 79-62 to Lees-McRae Monday afternoon. Shayla Smith led the Lions with 14 points.
Trailing by 22 points with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest, the Lions attempt at comeback bid looked promising as Mars Hill would go on a 15-2 run to pull within nine points with under three minutes left in the game. Missed shots and turnovers thwarted the effort as Lees-McRae would close the contest out on a 9-1 streak to pick up their fourth victory of the season.
Mars Hill has now dropped 11 straight.
The Lions opened the contest flat, shooting 3-of-14 in the first period. The Bobcats went on a 16-2 run to open the contest before a pair of free throws from Sheena Johnson ended the Bobcat's 13 straight points. Brea Forbes had 11 of Lees-McRae's 28 first period points and helped lead the Bobcats to a 28-8 lead after the first 10 minutes.
Mars Hill was able to turn the tables in the second, outscoring the Bobcats 17-10, including a 9-2 run to open the period. Defensively, the Lions were able to come up with several stops down the stretch to close the gap. Shayla Smith scored six points in the half and pulled down four rebounds.
Turnovers plagued the Lions as Lees-McRae scored 17 points off of Mars Hill errors. They also took advantage of the Lions down low, outscoring Mars Hill 18-8.
Entering the second half down 38-25, the Lions slow start furthered the deficit as the Bobcats opened the final 20 minutes on a 10-2 run. Mackenzie Blankenship accounted for five of those points. Despite a strong opening half of the period for the Bobcats, Mars Hill would outscore them 17-12 heading into the final 10 minutes, trailing by 16 points.
Forbes led all players with 23 points, going 9-of-15 from the field and adding nine rebounds. Markia Stacey had a game-high 12 assists and five steals. Blankenship and Meg Crawford chipped in 10 points apiece, along with Karli Mason's 11 to put four Bobcats in double-figures.
Sheena Johnson ended the contest with 12 points and five rebounds for the Lions. Maddie Webb went 2-of-2 from the field and hit all four free throw attempts for eight points while pulling down four rebounds. Cierra Hampton chipped in six points and five rebounds.
Mars Hill falls to 1-12 on the year while Lees-McRae improves to 4-5.
The Lions take the court next on January 3 with a home contest against Tusculum. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.