The Lenoir-Rhyne University Women's Basketball Team (7-1, 1-0) opened South Atlantic Conference play with an 84-65 victory over Mars Hill College (3-3, 0-1) Wednesday evening at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
L-R junior guard Whitley Culler (Mount Airy, N.C.) led all scorers with 20 points including 18
in the first half as the Bears won their fourth consecutive game.
Senior guard Cameron Sealey (Mount Holly, N.C.) and freshman guard Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) added 12 points each for Lenoir-Rhyne, who limited Mars Hill to just 35 percent shooting (25-of-71) for the game.
Four players scored in double figures for the Lions, led by Taylor Deal's (Catawba, N.C.) team-high 17 points and 11 rebounds, despite the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne shot 68 percent (19-of-28) in the first half in racing to a 45-24 lead with 2:39 remaining before intermission and never looked back en route to the win.
Mars Hill tried to rally but couldn't get within 11 points the rest of the way. Tyler Carlson (Savannah, Ga.) added 16 points for the Lions in the losing effort.
The Bears also shot 82 percent (18-of-22) from the charity stripe, dished out 25 assists and forced the Lions into 26 turnovers in the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Newberry, S.C., to take on Newberry Saturday in a league contest beginning at 2 p.m. Mars Hill, meanwhile, faces Anderson on the road in a conference game Saturday at 2 p.m., as well.
LRU 84, MARS HILL 65
1st 2nd Total
Mars Hill..................... 32 33 - 65
Lenoir-Rhyne.................. 47 37 - 84
MARS HILL: DEAL 17 (11 REBOUNDS), RICKER 10, WARREN 4, METCALF 3, TUCKER 11, CARLSON 16, BOOKER 2, SIMON 2. FG: 25-71, 3FG: 5-17, FT: 10-19. 44 REBOUNDS, 26 TURNOVERS, 14 ASSISTS.
LRU: BONGIORNO 6, SEALEY 12 (8 REBOUNDS), CULLER 20, BRINKLEY 7 (6 REBOUNDS), CHARLES 12 (8 REBOUNDS) RISHEL 9, KATT 4, PATTON 9, LAUGHTER 5. FG: 31-60, 3FG: 4-10, FT: 18-22. 39 REBOUNDS, 23 TURNOVERS, 25 ASSISTS.
Dillingham Scores 21, Bears Lose, 77-74
The Mars Hill College Men's Basketball Team (2-4, 1-0) jumped out to a 16-point lead then rallied to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (1-4, 0-1), 77-74, in the South Atlantic Conference opener Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
Mars Hill's Sammy Emile (Lake Worth, Fla.) led the way with 21 points while Cody King (Enka, N.C.) and Terrell Harris (Indiantown, Fla.) added 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Lions in the conference road victory.
L-R freshman guard Denzel Dillingham (Hickory, N.C.) finished with 21 points off the bench and junior forward B.J. Beasley (Charlotte, N.C.) added 17 points including 13 in the second half despite the loss.
Mars Hill jumped out to a 35-19 lead on a pair of free throws by Harris with 2:19 left until halftime for its biggest advantage of the game before Lenoir-Rhyne began to rally.
L-R found itself down by a 70-60 score with 4:27 remaining in the game but reeled off 12 straight points capped off by a three-pointer by Dillingham and a lay-up by senior guard Kevin Davis (Charlotte, N.C.) gave the Bears a 74-72 advantage with 1:15 on the clock.
King then scored the final five points, including the game-winning three-pointer, to lift the Lions to the win.
Davis nearly tallied a triple-double - seven points, eight rebounds and nine assists - while senior forward Jeff Thomas (Chapel Hill, N.C.) scored all 14 of his points in the second half for the Bears in the setback.
Both teams return to South Atlantic Conference action on Saturday on the road beginning at 4 p.m. Lenoir-Rhyne is at Newberry while Mars Hill pays a visit to Anderson.
MARS HILL 77, LRU 74
1st 2nd Total
Mars Hill..................... 37 40 - 77
Lenoir-Rhyne.................. 26 48 - 74
MARS HILL: KING 15, KOSTIC 4, JOHNSON 7, PATTON 6, EMILE 21, GREENE 5, HARRIS 14 (7 REBOUNDS), ANDERSON 5. FG: 24-53, 3FG: 7-21, FT: 22-29. 34 REBOUNDS, 19 TURNOVERS, 14 ASSISTS.
LRU: McCLURE 6, DAVIS 7 (8 REBOUNDS, 9 ASSISTS), THOMAS 14, BEASLEY 17 (7 REBOUNDS), McKENZIE 5, DILLINGHAM 21 (7 REBOUNDS), TERRELL 2, JONES 2. FG: 29-63, 3FG: 7-24, FT: 9-13. 36 REBOUNDS, 18 TURNOVERS, 19 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Whitley Culler, LRU Atheltics