Pioneers suffer first road loss in 87-75 setback at Lees-McRae

Pioneers suffer first road loss in 87-75 setback at Lees-McRae

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Quay Kimble scored a game-high 27 points and Andrew Gardner added 20 markers  to lead the Lees-McRae men's basketball team to an 87-75 non-conference win over visiting Tusculum Thursday night at Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats (8-2) remain undefeated at home this year (6-0) and complete the season sweep over the Pioneers (6-4).  It was also Tusculum's first true road loss of the season in three away contests.

Kimble shot 9-of-14 from the floor including 6-of-8 from three-point territory and 3-of-3 from the free throw line as the Bobcats shot a blistering 24-of-30 from the charity stripe (80%).  Gardner went 8-of-9 from the foul line and 6-of-10 from the floor while grabbing a game-high seven rebounds.

The Pioneers placed five players in double-figure scoring led by senior Tariq Jenkins as he tallied 17 points and dished out seven assists.  Senior Dillon Smith came off the bench and poured in five 3-pointers on nine attempts for his 15 points. Smith entered the game missing his last 28 three-point tries. The TU trio of Joshua Scott, Trenton Gibson and Caleb Hodnett scored 10 points apiece in the loss.

Lees-McRae shot 28-of-48 from the floor for 58.3 percent including 7-of-19 from beyond the arch (36.8%).  Tusculum finished the game shooting 27-of-57 from the field for 47.4 percent including 8-of-25 from downtown (32%). TU also went 13-of-20 from the free throw stripe for 65 percent.  The Bobcats owned a 31-25 advantage on the boards as Tusculum is out-rebounded for the first time this season.

The Bobcats held a slight edge in points in the paint (36-34) and outscored the Pioneers 19-6 in fastbreak points. 

Tusculum will wrap-up its three-game road swing as TU travels to Young Harris on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip-off. The Pioneers edged the Mountain Lions 74-73 in Greeneville last month.