The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball team fell late to Catawba 60-55 in their home opener Saturday afternoon inside Shuford Gym. The game was the first at home for Lenoir-Rhyne in the 2020-21 season and the first home game under Grahm Smith.
For the second year in a row, Catawba came back from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Bears in Shuford Gym. Last year in the Bears season finale, these teams played a thrilling game where Catawba came back and edged the Bears with two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to sneak past the Bears 62-60.
The Indians and Bears have now split the last ten games played in Hickory dating back to the 2011-12 season. However, the Indians have now won the last four games in Hickory.
In the first half, freshman Blaikley Crooks came off the bench to help paced the Bears in the first half with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. It was Crooks first double-digit scoring effort in her short career. The Bears bench outscored the Indians 14-5 in the first half to help the Bears take a three-point lead into the half.
Both teams came out cold in the first half. Catawba finished the half 9-25 (36%) while the Bears shot 11-33 (33.3%).
The Bears opened the game with a quick 6-0 run, thanks to three-pointers by Hanna McClung and Tatum McBride. The Indians responded with an 8-0 run of their own to take the lead into the second quarter. The Bears then finished the half with a 5-0 run to take the three-point lead into the half.
In the second half, the Bears controlled the third quarter expanding their lead to 8 with 7:31 left in the quarter before Catawba closed the quarter on a 10-4 run to cut the lead to two entering the 4th quarter.
Catawba used 13-25 (52%) shooting in the second half to help them take the lead for good with 7:03 minutes left to go.
LR had their chances to tie the game late but the Bears committed five of their 20 turnovers in the last two minutes of the game.
The Bears had three players in double digits lead by 16 from Hanna McClung. McClung’s 16 points were a season-high and one of her career-best. McClung also pitched in five rebounds for the third straight game and her four made 3-pointers tie a career-high
Kiara Moore and Harman each added 7 rebounds for the Bears.
Along with her 13 points and 7 rebounds, Harman added four steals and three assists to her stat line this afternoon.
The Bears are 0-4 on the season, L-R will stay at home to face Tusculum at 4pm on Wednesday.