Lee Men, Women Win Tuesday

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Lee men's basketball team led from start to finish on Tuesday night in a dominating 71-46 victory over Cumberland University from Walker Arena.

Sophomore Ryan Montgomery led the way with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The Chattanooga Central product electrified the home crowd with a powerful, breakaway two-handed slam late in the first half. I just thought man I need to dunk this a give the crowd something to stand up and cheer about it.

Sophomore floor leader Parker Suedekum added 12 points as the sharpshooting guard connected on 4 of 5 3-point attempts.

The Flames showcased why they are the top-ranked defensive team in the GSC giving up just 63 points per game through the first nine contests. Lee allowed the Phoenix to shoot just 29.6 from the field and 23.1 percent from the 3-point line. Lee forced 16
turnovers, blocked nine shots and held a 34-28 advantage on the glass.

"I challenged our team at halftime because I just didn't like our energy or intensity especially defensively but I thought we responded well after the break," said head coach Bubba Smith. "The zone really worked well for us in the second half and I think we were able to buckle down in get seven or eight stops in a row to really put the game away."

Colton Blevins tossed in 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and swatted away four shots while Chase Cullen came off the bench to score 10 points and grab five rebounds in just 12 minutes of action. Cullen was 3 of 3 from the field and 4 of 4 from the foul line.

Lee was forced to play without their vocal senior Levi Woods who was sidelined with an injury.

"With Levi being out I knew I needed to step up because he does so much for us on the floor," said Montgomery. The key for us tonight and throughout this year has been defense. It all starts with our ability to get stops and that in turn helps to create good offense."

The Flames shared the basketball on the offensive end compiling 20 assists to just 14 turnovers. Montgomery delivered a game-high five assists and Leander Ridgeway Jr. set up scores on four occasions.

"We talk about passing up a good shot to get a great shot. The character of the guys on this team allow us to share the basketball and I think the ball movement really showed through in the second half in particular," added Smith.

Cumberland was led in scoring by Will Shelton with 10 points. Juandrico Walker followed with nine points and five rebounds and Diondrey Holt Jr. adaded eight points and swiped four steals.

The Flames improve to 7-2 overall and will travel on the road for the first time in league play as they visit Alabama Huntsville (6-3, 0-2) on Saturday and North Alabama (6-3, 1-1) on Monday. Lee is off to a 2-0 start in GSC play with victories earlier in the season over Auburn-Montgomery and West Georgia.

Erin Walsh nailed eight 3-pointers and finished with 30 points to lead the Lady Flames to an 86-64 non-conference victory over Lane College Tuesday evening in Paul Dana Walker Arena. Walsh also recorded six defensive rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal.

"Erin shot the ball really well," said Lee head coach Marty Rowe. "The great thing about Erin is last week she had an off night shooting it against Stillman, but then she comes right back with 14 attempts today and makes 8-of-14. She's just such a good shooter."

Lee (8-2) jumped out to a 22-13 lead after the opening period and held a 36-27 advantage at the halftime break. The Lady Flames continued to build on their lead with a plus-seven margin in the third period and outscored Lane by six in the final 10 minutes to post the 22-point win.

"We were getting shots in the first half and kind of forced a few things in the first half," added Rowe. "They made some shots early that forced us back on our heels a little bit. In the second half, we made some nice reads and got the ball inside. Carrie (Cheeks) finished really well and I was really happy that Nicky came through at the end. It was hard to get her into the rotation. We got her in, she played great and finished strong through some contact."

Lindsey Roddy added 19 points, five rebounds and a two assists to the tally. Carrie Cheeks contributed another 15 markers and seven boards. Nicky Widenski was the fourth Lee player to hit double figures in scoring with a career-high 10 points.

The Lady Dragons (1-9) were led by Antrice McCoy's 27 points. McCoy was 9-for-15 from the field and made 8-of-11 free throws. Anissia May and Rickera Martin tallied 11 points each in the loss.

Lee shot nearly 55-percent (28-for-51) from the floor and were 12-for-29 (.414) from distance. Lane was 23-for-62 (.371) overall, including 8-for-25 (.320) from behind the arc. The Lady Flames held a slight advantage at the free throw line, converting on 18-of-27 attempts. The Lady Dragons made 10 in 13 trips to the charity stripe.

The Lady Flames grabbed 14 more rebounds than the visitors. Lee pulled down 40 boards, while Lane recorded 26 rebounds. Both teams were credited with seven offensive rebounds with Lane edging Lee 6-5 in second-chance points.

The Lady Dragons turned 18 Lee turnovers into 14 points, while the Lady Flames made the most of nine Lane floor mistakes with 11 second-chance points.

The Lady Flames return to GSC play on Saturday with a trip to Alabama Huntsville. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST.

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