Lee Men, Women Split With West Georgia

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Thanks to a dominating second half performance the Lee men's basketball team improved to 2-0 in the Gulf South Conference with a dominating 70-52 victory West Georgia.

The Flames trailed early on and were down 24-17 with 7:06 remaining when a brief scuffle caused a double technical to be called on both teams.

The technical seemed to energize the Flames and the home crowd as Lee reeled off a 12-4 run to close out the half before roughing up the Wolves in the second half, 41-24.

In what has become a trademark of this year's team the stingy Lee defense allowed the Wolves to shoot just 29.4 percent from the field and 23.3 percent from the 3-point line. The Flames also took good care of the basketball committing just 11 turnovers while forcing the Wolves into 17 floor mistakes.

Ryan Montgomery led a group of four players in double-figure scoring with 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Colton Blevins backed up a solid Thursday effort with 12 points, five rebounds and dished off six assists while Leander Ridgeway Jr. and Levi Woods each chipped in 10 points.

"It's a good start for us and we know we've got to protect our home court and we obviously did that. I was really proud of how we played because for the most part shots weren't falling but we kept our defensive intensity and still found a way to extend the lead which is a big improvement from our game last weekend at Carson-Newman," said head coach Bubba Smith. "There was a lot talking during the technical and we need to do a better job of keeping our composure but I think it did spark us to get out in transition and make plays defensively and that helped us climb back into the contest and then extend our lead."

The Flames crashed the boards and grabbed 47 rebounds and held a commanding 50-24 advantage in the paint.  Despite hitting just three triples the Flames ended the contest at 41 percent shooting and were a perfect 7 of 7 from the charity stripe.

William Sides led the Wolves with 14 points and was joined in double-figures by Marquill Smith and Jack Shaughnessey. Smith recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds while Shaughnessey added 10.

Lee improves to 6-1 on the season and will step outside of conference play to host Freed-Hardeman on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The loss drops West Georgia to 3-4 and 0-2 in league play.

"We need to make sure we bring the same intensity on Tuesday night even though it's not a conference game," concluded Smith. "If we can do that the next two games we will be ready to go when we jump back into conference play."

The Lee University women’s basketball team lost for the first time in Gulf South Conference action with a 72-63 defeat to West Georgia Saturday afternoon in Paul Dana Walker Arena. The Lady Flames fell to 6-2 overall and are 1-1 within the conference.

The Lady Flames scored the first 10 points of the game and led by 18 (26-8) with nine minutes left in the opening half before the Wolves (5-2, 2-0 GSC) began to chip away and cut the Lee lead to four (32-28) at the halftime break.

West Georgia outscored Lee 20-16 in the third period and 24-15 in the final 10 minutes to pull away for the win.

Shelby Brown led the Lady Flames with 15 points and nine rebounds. The senior also dished out two assists, blocked two shots and recorded one steal. Carrie Cheeks was the only other Lee player in double figures. Cheeks finished with 11 points, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

Abby Bertram added nine points and four assists to go along with two steals and a blocked shot. Taylor Boggess tallied eight markers and Erin Walsh threw in seven more.

Kayla Carter and De’Ashia Jones tied for the game-high with 21 points. Jones added eight boards. D’Asia Cain led UWG with nine boards and added five points and four assists.

Jessica Brown was the third UWG player with double-digit scoring. Brown made 7-of-13 shots to finish with 21 points.

After making 10-of-15 shots in the opening 10 minutes, the Lady Flames finished 27-for-60 (.450) from the field and were 7-for-24 (.292) from behind the arc. West Georgia was 27-for-59 (.458), including 5-of-11 (.455) from distance.

West Georgia held an advantage at the free throw line. The Wolves made 22 trips to the charity stripe and made 13, while Lee was 2-for-3.

The Lady Flames return to action on Tuesday (Dec. 5) against Stillman College. The non-conference meeting is set to tip off at 6 p.m.

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