Lees-McRae starts fast but falls to Southern Indiana (2016-12-12 16:33:37)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – A fast start by the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team didn't prove to be enough as the Bobcats fell on the road to Southern Indiana, 98-83, Sunday in non-conference action. LMC drops to 2-9 with the loss, while USI remains unbeaten moving to 8-0 on the season.

The Bobcats were firing on all cylinders in the early going getting out to a 19-point lead on the Screaming Eagles (28-9). Senior Darius Malbonknocked down a trio of three-pointers and finished the opening half with a team-high 11 points. Malbon was not the only Bobcat to chip in with offense as nine different Lees-McRae players scored at least two points in the first half.

Southern Indiana began chipping away at LMC's lead and got the deficit to just four points heading into the locker room for halftime, 45-41. The 45 points by the Bobcats is the most in the opening half for the team this season. A major reason for USI's comeback was fueled in a large part by free throws. The Screaming Eagles went 22-of-25 from the free-throw line, while Lees-McRae made only one trip to the line in the first half.

As hot as the Bobcats started in the first half, they almost were as cold to begin the second. LMC hit just two field goals in the first seven minutes of the half. The slow start by the Bobcats allowed Southern Indiana to find its rhythm offensively and it did just that. USI outscored LMC 57-38 in the second half to seal the 15-point victory.

Donte Falls was the leading scorer for Lees-McRae Sunday scoring 21 points to go along with five rebounds. Malbon also finished in double figures with a season-high 13 points.

The Bobcats will have over a two-week break for the holidays. In its return to action, LMC will travel to take on Southern Wesleyan on Jan. 3. The start time for that game is slated for 7:30 p.m.