Clark's Career-High Leads Hot-Shooting Falcons Past Lees-McRae

Clark's Career-High Leads Hot-Shooting Falcons Past Lees-McRae

Jeremy Zalacca - Director of Athletic Communications

BANNER ELK, N.C. - The red-hot Falcons (10-1, 4-1 CC) hit 12 of their first 14 three pointers and defeated the Lees-McRae Bobcats (3-10, 2-3) by a final score of 124-108 on Friday night. The Falcons tied a program record for most 3-pointers made in a single game (20) and broke the record for highest 3-point percentage in a game, converting 62.5 percent from long range.

AJ Clark scored a career-high 39 points and went 12-for-15 from the field, including converting all six of his attempts from behind the arc.

Andrew Guerrero added 27 points and hit five three pointers, while Mike Smith finished with 17 points.

For the game, the Falcons hit 56.5 percent of their field goal attempts and went 26-of-31 from the free throw line.

"I am incredibly proud of the effort from the entire team," said Clark, a guard from Burlington, N.C. who scored 36 points three different times in his high school career. "For us to jump out to a big lead and have them respond the way they did and us to answer their counterpunch showed that we are a resilient group."

Clark started the game with back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Falcons off to a hot start. In the first six minutes of the contest, the Falcons knocked down 4-of-5 from behind the arc and ran out to a 19-10 advantage. The Falcons came out of the media time out and were all over the host Bobcats. Pfeiffer scored 13 of the game's next 15 points, with Josh Calhoun accounting for eight of those points, to take a dominant 32-12 advantage.

With 11:15 left in the first half, Brian Harper knocked down Pfeiffer's 11th 3-pointer (on only 13 attempts) to give the Falcons a 44-15 lead. A minute later, Mike Smith hit the Falcons 12th triple.

The Bobcats wouldn't back down and cut the halftime lead to 69-57. The Falcon attack shot 57.8 percent from the field and 73.7 percent from long range in the first 20 minutes. Clark scored 21 first half points and was one of four Falcons in double figures in the opening period. The 69 points in the first half was just nine shy of a school record for most points in a half.

Lees-McRae wouldn't let Pfeiffer run away as they cut the lead down to five points early in the second half. However, Clark continued to be unstoppable as the senior converted a four-point play to push Pfeiffer's lead to 99-87 with 7:57 to play.  The Bobcats weren't able to cut the lead to single digits the rest of the way as the Falcons extended their winning streak to three straight.

The Falcons will have a tough matchup tomorrow afternoon as they travel to King for a 4 p.m. matchup.

"We have to be mentally tough enough to win on the road against a really good King team," said Clark. "We have no time to rest."