LEE SPORTS INFORMATION
JACKSON — For the second straight season, the Lee women's basketball team will be dancing after qualifying for the NCAA DII national tournament as a No. 6 seed in the South Region and will …
No. 1 seed Union University will be the host for the South Region Championship and will draw the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Champion, Clark Atlanta. No. 2 Florida Southern will take on No. 7 Valdosta State and No. 4 Embry-Riddle will tangle with No. 5 Eckerd.
Lee enters the tournament with a 23-7 overall mark. The Lady Flames defeated West Georgia, 88-78 in the GSC quarterfinals before losing to GSC champion Union, 66-56, in the semifinals last Saturday in Birmingham.
The Lions are 24-4 on the year but were upset at home in the GSC quarterfinals, 70-65 at the hands of West Alabama.
The Lady Flames fell in the final seconds to the Lions in their only meeting this season in Florence, Ala., on Dec. 18. Savannah Stults made the back end of a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds left to turn back the Lee comeback handing North Alabama a 63-62 win. Lee is 2-7 all-time against UNA.
Together the two teams had five players named to the GSC All-Conference team. Seniors Erin Walsh (First Team) and Carrie Cheeks (Second Team) represented the Lady Flames while North Alabama had three players take home First Team honors in Emma and Ivy Wallen and Brittany Panetti.
Cheeks scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the GSC semifinal game against Union while Walsh added 15 points and eight rebounds. Walsh leads the team with 12.8 ppg and is eighth in the storied history of the women's basketball program with 1,796 points.
Coach Marty Rowe has also gotten solid production from seniors Shelby Brown and Haley Cornellison over the last few games. Brown had 11 points and nine rebounds in the GSC quarterfinals while Cornellison came off the bench to hit three big triples and grab five rebounds.
For the Lions, it all centers on their all-conference players. Emma Wallen averages 18.6 ppg and has canned 100 3-pointers on the season while Panetti puts in 16 ppg and grabs 7.2 rpg. Unfortunately for North Alabama Ivy Wallen (17.5 ppg) had her season cut short due to a knee injury.
Something will have to give on Friday night, as North Alabama leads the league in scoring averaging 81.5 ppg while the Lady Flames give up a conference-low 54.8 ppg.
"We're excited to get the chance to continue our season and have the opportunity to play North Alabama. We played them in December and it was a great game, so we wouldn't expect anything different this time around," said Rowe, who is in his 14th year as leader of the Lady Flames and recently celebrated 500 career victories. "UNA is really good in transition and competes extremely hard on both ends of the floor but we're looking forward to the challenge and can't wait for Friday. It's a great accomplishment for our program to have qualified for the national tournament for the second consecutive year, it's something we're proud of and want to continue to build on in the future."
Flames announcer George Starr is set to describe all the play-by-play action. Coverage will begin with the pregame show at 12:50 p.m. Friday. Live streaming and stats will also be provided at goleeflames.com
CHEEKS IS ALL-TOURNAMENT
Playing some of her best ball in her four-year career, Cheeks was named to the GSC All-Tournament team after she scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds in the quarterfinal round and tallied a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards in the semifinals.
The Ranger, Georgia, native is 16th on the Lee all-time scoring list with 1,260 career points and is eighth in rebounds with 810.
It's win or go home time in the NCAA tournament. With a win Friday the Lady Flames will play the winner of No.2-seed Florida Southern and No.7-seed Valdosta State on Saturday at 6 p.m. The region championship is set for Monday at 8 p.m.
Senior Christian Bokich hurled five innings of five-hit ball and the Flames countered with a 13-hit attack in coasting past visiting Bellarmine University (Ky.) 20-2 Tuesday afternoon at Olympic Field.
The Flames improved to 8-11 on the year, and the Knights dropped to 6-4. The two clubs will square off again this afternoon in another nine-inning non-conference contest.
Bokich registered four strikeouts and did not walk a Knight hitter in posting his first pitching win of the year. Winston Whitener came on to pitch the sixth and seventh innings for the Flames allowing one hit and two earned runs. He walked three Bellarmine hitters. Lance Hamilton followed for an inning. The lefty surrendered a hit and recorded a strikeout. Davis Gurosky finished the day with a pair of strikeouts while allowing two hits.
“Christian (Bokich) did an excellent job tossing five-shutout innings and it was good to get several other guys out on the mound,” commented head coach Mark Brew. “I am really excited about how our defense is playing right now. With four double plays on the night and another clean game, we are playing with confidence in the field.”
The Flames were led at the plate by Chase Gadau who blasted his fourth and fifth homers of the year and finished the afternoon with three RBIs and three runs scored. Chase Andrews enjoyed a big day at the plate collecting five RBIs and scoring two runs with two doubles and a single.
The assault continued with Spencer Mossburg’s second homer of the year to go along with a triple. His day was completed with three runs batted in and crossing the dish twice. Tyler Payne got into the act with his fourth double of the season. He accounted for two runs and three RBIs. Miguel Pimentel tallied three times, while Ryan Beamish singled home a pair of runs. Peyton Meeker tallied three runs and Jordan Howard ripped a double in the opening inning.
“We certainly didn’t expect things to get out of hand like they did tonight, but I thought our offense was really opportunistic,” noted Brew. “Andrews, Gadau and Mossburg had really good days at plate and we had lots of players contribute offensively.”
Six pitchers toed the rubber for the Knights. Alex Phillips worked two innings and was charged with the loss. At the plate, the Knights collected six singles to go along with a double by Andrew Sams. He joined Brandy Pfaadt by scoring the only runs for Bellarmine.
“Tomorrow will be a different day. We can’t expect that type of game again. Bellarmine has a really good club and I expect tomorrow to be a tough test for us,” the coach concluded.
tie for 7th
WINDERMERE, Fla. — The No. 18 Lee women's golf team moved up three spots to finish tied for seventh at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational hosted by Rollins College on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Caroline Moore finished 11th with a 4-over par 220 total to lead the Lady Flames. Senior Sam Burrus fired an even par 72 in Tuesday's final round and was just 1-over-par in her final two rounds. Burrus ended tied for 33rd. Haverly Harrold, Anne Hedegaard and Annika Gino all carded final round 77's.
"We struggled this week to get everyone clicking at the same time. We played a lot of good golf today we just let a few shot go coming down the stretch," said assistant coach Bernadette Little. "Caroline played very solid all three rounds, I was nice to see her hard work pay off."
As a team the Lady Flames shot a final round 299 and finished at 913 tied with UNC-Pembroke. No. 1 Nova Southeastern edged No. 4 Dallas Baptist by just one stroke to capture the team title. No. 12 Lynn, No. 3 Saint Leo and No. 7 Florida Southern rounded out the top five while the host No. 19 Rollins finished sixth.
The loaded 18-team field featured eight squads ranked in the top 20 and was staged at the Golden Bear Club at Keene's Pointe and played 6,038 yards.
Evelyn Arguelles of Dallas Baptist shot a 6-under-par and claimed the medalist honor finishing two strokes ahead of Jamie Freedman (Nova Southeastern) and Jenny Ayala (Lynn). West Florida's Paloma Vaccaro (-2) and Nova's Sophie Madden (-2) followed and were named to the all-tournament team.
The Lady Flames will travel to Miami Shores for the Buccaneer Invitational hosted by Barry University on Mar. 26-27.
Men's tennis falls on
road to Rockhurst
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Lee University men’s tennis team dropped a tough 5-4 decision to Rockhurst University Tuesday evening at the USTA national campus. The Flames dropped to 5-3 on the season, while the Hawks improved to 6-2.
“It was a tough battle,” said Lee head coach Patric Hynes. “We have been performing really well in doubles this year and today gave us another great platform. Rhys (Milne) and Jake (Okines) set a great tone for the team and Daniel (Prata) and Igor (Schattan) probably played their best doubles together today. I think Daniel only missed one return for the entire match.”
Milne and Okines recorded an 8-2 win over Patrik Cvik and Tarass Thevenaz at No. 1 doubles to give Lee an early 1-0 lead. Prata and Schattan doubled-up Oskar Unger and Jonas Stropus, 8-4, to regain the lead after Julien Burmudez and Nicolas Leon outlasted Boyd Blackburn and Bruno Medeiros, 8-6.
The Hawks claimed the first three singles results to take a 4-2 lead and pull within one point of clinching the team win. Thevenaz won 6-0, 6-2 against Blackburn; Cvik beat Medeiros 6-2 and 6-1; and Riveros was a 6-3, 6-2 winner against Okines.
“Rockhurst knocked us in a couple of singles spots today, but Rhys and Daniel showed great fight to pull out quality wins from a set down. Igor was right there and I can’t fault his effort. The other guy did a great job under high pressure and deserved to win,” said Hynes.
Milne was edged by Unger, 8-6, in their first-set tie-breaker, but forced a third set with a 6-0 advantage in the second set. Milne earned the match victory with a 10-5 mark in a super set tie-breaker to pull Lee within one point at 4-3.
Stropus ended the Lee comeback hopes with a three-set win over Schattan. Schattan claimed the opening set 6-3, but Stropus won the second set, 6-2, and edged Schattan 10-7 in a final super set.
Prata split his first two sets with Leon before claiming the final super set 10-8 and setting the final team score.
“This loss hurts, but honestly it’s probably what we need. If we want to be a top 50 program we’ve got to win these types of matches. We are right in the mix and we’ll get there,” added Hynes.
The Flames will take Wednesday off before getting back on the courts Thursday against Cedarville University.
ROCKHURST 5, LEE UNIVERSITY 4
1. Rhys Milne (LEE-M) def. Oskar Unger (RUM) 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 10-5
2. Nicolas Riveros (RUM) def. Jake Okines (LEE-M) 6-3, 6-2
3. Jonas Stropus (RUM) def. Igor Schattan (LEE-M) 3-6, 6-2, 10-7
4. Tarass Thevenaz (RUM) def. Boyd Blackburn (LEE-M) 6-0, 6-2
5. Patrik Cvik (RUM) def. Bruno Medeiros (LEE-M) 6-2, 6-1
6. Daniel Prata (LEE-M) def. Nicolas Leon (RUM) 4-6, 6-2, 10-8
1. Rhys Milne/Jake Okines (LEE-M) def. Patrik Cvik/Tarass Thevenaz (RUM) 8-2
2. Daniel Prata/Igor Schattan (LEE-M) def. Oskar Unger/Jonas Stropus (RUM) 8-4
3. Julien Burmudez/Nicolas Leon (RUM) def. Boyd Blackburn/Bruno Medeiros (LEE-M) 8-6.
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