CLEVELAND, Miss. – The Lee University men’s basketball team was unable to overcome a 20-point halftime deficit and lost at No. 21 Delta State University, 75-57, in a Gulf South Conference (GSC) game Thursday night.
The Flames (8-12, 4-10 GSC) trailed Delta State (20-13, 13-2 GSC) 21-18 with7:14 remaining in the first half, but the Statesmen ended the half on a 21-4 run to break the game open. Lee outscored DSU 35-33 over the final 20 minutes.
“Delta State was very disciplined in their approach offensively,” said Lee head coach Tommy Brown. “They were open up top and we were playing off them, but they refused to settle.”
Delta State scored 38 points in the paint and made 26-of-50 (.520) of their shots. Lee connected on 19-of-53 (.358) shots and tallied 28 points in the paint.
Jamal Worthington and Cory Billingsley were both 4-for-9 from the field and led the Flames with 11 points each. Chad Lee added eight points to go with a team-high seven rebounds.
Chipping in six points apiece were Stedmon Ford, Valentino Thomas and Muniru Bawa.
Delta State received 21 points from Devin Schmidt and 20 markers from Willie Readus. Schmidt was 9-for-16 from the floor and hit 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Readus canned 8-of-9 free throws and pulled down eight rebounds.
Lee will now move on to Memphis to face Christian Brothers University at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“We were told by other coaches in the conference that this was the toughest trip of the year,” admitted Brown. “The two teams (Delta State and Christian Brothers) play such different styles and you have very little time to make adjustments.”