Flames Fall to West Alabama, 71-55 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Flames Fall to West Alabama, 71-55

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CLEVELAND, TN (GoLeeFlames.com)--The University of West Alabama jumped out quick and never looked back in handing the Lee men's basketball team its second loss in three days by a final tally of 71-55 on Monday night in Walker Arena.

Kenric McCants led the way for the Tigers with 21 points but he was joined by four other players in double-figures to help pace the balanced offensive attack for the visitors. Khalil Carter pitched in 13 points off the bench while Justin Wright tallied 11 and Jarell Byrd and Lleon Tillman added 10 points each.

"West Alabama is a really good team and they are going to win a lot games this year," said head coach Tommy Brown. "They have played a much tougher schedule than we have to this point. We just didn't have any answers to stop them tonight. Their guards played outstanding."

The Flames struggled to find any scoring for the much of the opening half as they shot just 27.3 percent from the field and trailed 32-23 at the intermission. Lee improved to 54.5 percent shooting in the second half and finished hitting 40.9 percent (18-of-44) of its shots but couldn't find an answer to slow down the Tigers. The Alabama club shot a sizzling 57.4 percent (27-of-47) in the contest.

Cory Billingsley led the Flames with 17 points. The senior is averaging right at 17 ppg on the year to lead Lee. Stedmon Ford was the only other player to crack double-digits as the point guard finished with 11 points and grabbed four rebounds.

"As a team we continue to have trouble handling defensive pressure," added Brown. "It's difficult to simulate the pressure in practice because these GSC teams are so athletic."

West Alabama won the battle of the boards by a 26-19 margin. Byrd and Tillman each had nine to lead the Tigers. "We were forced to play four guards for most of the game and that really limited us in the rebounding department," said Brown.

The Flames were outscored 42-24 in the paint and converted 15 Tiger turnovers into eight points while West Alabama cashed in 19 points off 18 Lee floor mistakes.

"We have to go back to work and find ways to get our offense going. That is a problem area for our team right now," concluded Brown.

Lee falls to 9-4 overall and are now an even 4-4 in the GSC. The victory improves the Tigers to 9-7 on the year and they join the Flames at 4-4 in league play.

After four straight home games the Flames will look to rebound on the road as they head to Cleveland, Miss. to tangle with Delta State on Saturday at 7 p.m. Lee will move to Clinton on Monday to battle GSC-newcomer Mississippi College at 9 p.m.
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