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LJ McCoy
LJ McCoy led the Bears with 22 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Dispatches Emory & Henry

Lenoir-Rhyne shot 60.7 percent from the field in the first half and rode that effort to a double-digit victory over Emory & Henry on Saturday afternoon, 89-72, to improve to 7-2 at home on the season. Four players scored in double figures as LR topped 80 points for the third consecutive contest.

After hitting 17 3-pointers against Coker on Wednesday, the Bears kept their hot shooting from long range by hitting 8-of-21 and 5-of-10 in the first half. L.J. McCoy hit his first two looks from long range and was fouled on another attempt as he hit all three free throws and had 11 of the first 15 LR points. McCoy would finish one point shy of a season-high, going for 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

The second half would belong to T.J. Nesmith. The Bears went into the break up 15 and relied on the big man in the final 20 minutes. Nesmith scored 16 of his 24 points and grabbed eight of his 11 boards in the second half. LR led by as many as 25 (71-46) in the second half but the Wasps wouldn’t go down quietly. An 11-0 spurt and a 4:33 scoreless drought for the Bears brought Emory & Henry within 12 points but Nesmith and the Bears were too much.

Jalen Johnson was terrific, scoring 13 points and handing out nine assists. Nas Tyson had 11 points and eight boards with three dimes and Damion Medwinter hit three triples on his way to nine points and four boards. LR went 19-of-21 from the charity stripe and converted 16 in a row before their first miss.

This was the first all-time meeting between the two programs as Emory & Henry is in their first year of SAC competition. This was also the first cross-divisional game for LR.

McCoy came into the game with 51 made threes and ranked in the top 10 in 3pt percentage in the nation at 49.0 percent. McCoy is chasing Will Perry’s single-season mark of 101 made threes in 2015-16.

LR was +15 on the boards but did commit a season-high 17 turnovers. One of the top teams in the nation at defending the 3-point line, LR held Emory & Henry to just 22.7 percent from long range.

The Bears are 8-7 overall, 3-4 in the South Atlantic Conference. LR will now hit the road to take on Newberry on Wednesday