Lee overcomes sloppy effort to beat rival Temple
CHATTANOOGA (LEE/WRCB) -- Lee University completed the season sweep of local rival Tennessee Temple University with a 60-50 win over the host Crusaders on Tuesday night.
Both teams struggled offensively in Tuesday's game, each shooting 33-percent from the field overall. But the difference came at the free throw line, where Lee hit 21-of-32 (66-percent) attempts compared to just 7-of-20 (35-percent) for Temple.
"We obviously didn't shoot it well," said Lee head coach Tommy Brown. "I'm thankful they missed 13 free throws, otherwise this would have been a different game. This was not a very good performance."
"This game got trapped between Southern Poly on Saturday (Jan. 21) and Shorter this Saturday. This is a great rivalry and we didn't give it the effort it deserved."
The 17th-ranked Flames (14-4) opened the season with a 63-54 win over Temple (8-10) at Walker Arena back on Nov. 5. Tuesday was the 86th matchup in the storied rivalry. The Flames have won the last five meetings, improving their record in the series to 55-41.
Ryan Westbrooks came off the bench to lead the Lee scoring attack with a game-high 16 points. Former East Ridge High star Alex Wells added 12 points and six rebounds.
The Flames dominated the boards, thanks in large part to nine rebounds from Johnny Godette and eight each from Patrick Shaughnessy and Steve Bennett. Overall, Lee outrebounded Temple, 53-41.
Temple was able to keep the Lee offense at bay, forcing 19 Flames turnovers. The Crusaders turned that into 21 points, while committing just 13 floor mistakes on their end.
"(Temple Coach) Randy (Lee) has done a good job with this team on defensive positioning," added Brown. "This is a long and athletic team, if they could shoot a little better, they would be hard to deal with."
The Crusaders were led by a pair of 12 point, 8 rebound performances by Germeil Daniels and Josh Morris. Jarrett Smith added nine points and six rebounds in the loss.
The Flames will get some much-needed rest and then prepare for Saturday's showdown with Shorter University. The top-ranked Hawks are currently 19-0 overall, and play Brewton-Parker College, Thursday, before making the trip to Cleveland.
"Shorter has no weakness. They are talented, athletic, and long at every position. (Junior forward) Walter Hill is the best player in the league," concluded Brown.
Information provided by Lee University Sports Information and GoLeeFlames.com.