The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team (17-6, 10-5) survived a furious rally by Tusculum (6-17, 4-11) en route to an 80-68 win in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday night at Shuford Gymnasium.
L-R sophomore guard Denzel Dillingham (Hickory, N.C.) led three players in double figures with 17 points as the Bears swept the season series from the Pioneers. Lenoir-Rhyne junior guards R.J. McClure (Canton, N.C.) and Jarvis Perry (Willingboro, N.J.) added 16 points each as the Bears won their third straight contest.
Darius Carter (Cascade, Va.) led all scorers with 19 points for Tusculum, who cut a 24-point deficit to two in the second half despite the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne rolled to a 54-30 lead early in the second half but Tusculum stormed back to cut the margin to 65-63 on a pair of free throws by Carter with 4:22 left. However, L-R regrouped and ended the contest with a victory margin in double digits thanks to its 20-of-25 performance (80 percent) from the charity stripe.
Lenoir-Rhyne held the edge in rebounding (44-31) and limited Tusculum to just 33 percent shooting (four-of-12) from behind the three-point line in the victory as well.
Tusculum's Nick Spinks (Greensboro, N.C.) added 15 points and Keith Jumper (Lexington, S.C.) scored 14 points in the losing effort. Lenoir-Rhyne faces Lincoln Memorial in its next contest on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m., in Harrogate, Tenn. Tusculum plays at Mars Hill on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., in Mars Hill, N.C.
Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Tops Tusculum, 64-59
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Team (16-7, 11-4) kept pace in the South Atlantic Conference race after downing Tusculum (13-10, 7-8), 64-59, Wednesday evening at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
L-R junior forward Nneka Awuruonye (Charlotte, N.C.) finished with a career-high 26 points to go along with 11 rebounds as Lenoir-Rhyne remained one game behind Anderson (18-7, 12-3) in the conference standings.
Sophomore guard Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) added 20 points and hit three treys as the Bears avenged an earlier loss to the Pioneers.
Three players scored in double figures for Tusculum, including 12 points each from both Kendal Baxter (Sevierville, Tenn.) and Ashley Thurman (Nashville, Tenn.), despite the loss.
L-R opened up a 39-24 lead with 16:25 remaining in the second half before Tusculum rallied to take a 55-53 advantage on a lay-up by Breaira Barksdale (Baltimore, Md.) with 4:08 left.
However, a pair of free throws by Awuruonye broke a 55-55 tie at the 3:02 mark of the second half and the Bears held the lead the rest of the way.
Lenoir-Rhyne also held a 40-32 advantage on the boards and limited Tusculum to just 38 percent shooting (21-of-55) from the floor in winning its second straight game.
For Tusculum, Baxter also connected on four treys and now has 300 three-pointers for her career, second-best in South Atlantic Conference history.
In the next round of league games on Saturday, Lenoir-Rhyne plays Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tenn., beginning at 6:00 p.m. while Tusculum visits Mars Hill for a 2:00 p.m., contest.
Photo Courtesy: Denzel Dillingham, L-R Athletics