Lee Men Earn First Ever Gulf South Tournament Berth
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Ryan Montgomery gave the Lee men’s basketball team a one-point lead with 25 seconds left and Colton Blevins came up with a steal and bucket to close things out to send the Flames to a 52-49 win at Delta State on Saturday.
With its third straight win the Flames (15-11, 10-9) locked up a spot in the Gulf South Conference Tournament for the first time in program history. The loss sends the Statesmen to 12-15 and 10-9 in league play.
“We got the ball to Ryan in a good spot and he went and made a play.
Then on defense Colton coming over to help Parker and get the steal was obviously a huge play. This team is really learning how to finish out games, something we struggled with earlier this season,” said Smith.
For the third straight game it was Blevins leading the way with 15 points. Montgomery followed with 12 and six rebounds in the defensive battle.
“I thought we showed toughness and defensive focus for 40 minutes. We weren’t perfect tonight but we came up with some big stops and made plays down the stretch,” noted Smith. “I thought defensively we showed great effort and that’s what you have to do on the road.”
In a matchup up of two of the top defensive teams in the conference it was no surprise each team shot under 40 percent from the field. The Flames made four 3-pointers while Delta State was just 2 of 14 from beyond the arc.
Matthew Wilson led the way for the home team with 12 points. Brett Warner followed with 10 points while PJ Davis went for 10 and nine rebounds.
The magic ran out for Delta State as Warner’s three was off target at the buzzer. The Statesmen had won the previous two games (at Montevallo, at Christian Brothers) in the final seconds.
The Flames will wrap up the regular season on Thursday in Rome, Ga. as they battle rival Shorter University. Lee has an opportunity to improve it’s seeding in GSC Playoffs which begin on Tuesday (Feb. 27). The Flames are currently in a three-way tie for fifth with Montevallo and Delta State.
“We’re focused on getting one percent better each day this time of year. We are looking forward to playing our rival Shorter on Thursday and we know we’ll have great support down there from our fans so we are ready for the challenge,” concluded Smith.