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Truesdale, de Souza Pace Bobcats Past Tigers, 62-53

Dec. 4, 2012. Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) and Layana de Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) each poured in a game-high 16 points to lead the Lees-McRae College women’s basketball team to a 62-53 win over visiting Salem International University in non-conference play on Monday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

Lees-McRae (1-4) posted a field goal percentage of 37.3 percent on the night, including a 41.7 percent clip in the first half, while holding Salem International (1-3) to a mark of 30.9 percent from the floor. The Fighting Tigers edged the Bobcats by a narrow 38-36 margin on the glass, including a 15-12 advantage on the offensive boards, as Lees-McRae converted 32 Salem International turnovers into 32 points.

Truesdale and de Souza both paced the Bobcats with 16 points, as Truesdale posted game-highs of seven steals and two blocks while de Souza dished out a contest-best six assists. Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) nearly recorded a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds, as Keri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) chipped in a game-high nine boards and de Souza added five steals.

Shakinah Haggins led the way for the Fighting Tigers with 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting, adding six boards and four steals, as Whitney McCargo nearly posted a double-double with 13 markers and a game-high nine rebounds to go along with five thefts. Desiree Dwyer chipped in 10 points of her own, while Ciera Simms added eight rebounds.

The Bobcats opened the game on an 8-4 run, claiming the four-point advantage on a de Souza lay-in before Candace Flowers (Charlotte, N.C.) knocked down a triple to push the lead to 11-6 with 16:01 to go in the half. Flowers’ triple would spark a 7-0 run by the Bobcats, with Lees-McRae stretching the margin to 15-6 following a three-point play by Taylor Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) at the 15:06 mark.

Salem International answered with a 9-0 run, evening the tally at 15-15 on a pair of freebies by Dwyer before Truesdale countered with a triple, kick-starting an 8-2 Bobcat run to give Lees-McRae a 23-17 advantage with 8:30 left in the period. The Bobcats would push the lead to 29-20 on a de Souza layup before the Fighting Tigers closed the half on a 4-2 run, cutting the gap to 31-24 heading into the intermission.

Lees-McRae came out strong in the second half, opening the period on an 11-6 run to push the margin to 42-30 with 13:18 to play following back-to-back layups by Munson. Salem International stayed within striking distance, closing the gap to 47-42 with a 12-5 spurt that was capped by a pair of McCargo freebies at the 5:14 mark.

The Bobcats would answer with a 9-2 run, stretching the advantage to 56-44 following a de Souza triple before Truesdale capped the spurt with a steal and a basket to put the game out of reach with 2:50 to go.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Brevard College in non-conference play at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.