YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – The Lander men's basketball team fell behind early and could never fully recover in an 84-61 Peach Belt Conference loss at Young Harris on Thursday afternoon.
The Bearcats (4-5, 0-3 PBC) were in search of their first win ever at Young Harris, but trailed by 13 less than six minutes into the game as the Mountain Lions (2-5, 1-1 PBC) connected on eight of their first 11 shots from the floor to grab a 20-7 lead at the 14:05 mark of the first half.
Lander dug itself out of the early deficit with a gritty 15-1 run. The Bearcat bench netted all 15 points over a 3:40 stretch, led by four from Sidney Robinson and Kade Marra, to give Lander its lone lead of the game at 24-23 with 8:30 left in the half. However, Young Harris answered out of a timeout with a 22-8 run to close the half and took a 45-31 lead to the locker room.
The Bearcats pulled within 10 points twice in the second half, but a 9-2 Mountain Lion run with less than 12 minutes to play put the game out of reach.
Rahu Purdie led Lander with 14 points and Robinson added 11 for his second double-figure performance of the season. Sergio Smith grabbed 11 rebounds, one shy of tying his career high, and recorded a pair of blocks.
All five Mountain Lion starters scored in double figures, led by J.B. Charles' 19 points.
Lander will look to claim its first conference win of the season as the Bearcats return to Finis Horne Arena on Tuesday to host Clayton State at 7:30 p.m.