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Tay Smith
Tay Smith had 18 points and six rebounds for the Bears.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Dispatches Emory & Henry

In its home conference opener, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team defeated Emory & Henry, 75-65, to earn its first conference victory of the season.

Taye Smith and Nas Tyson contributed 18 points each for the Bears as the pair led the team in scoring, while Chase Mebane and Jaquias Franklin had 14 and 11 points, respectively.

LR came into Saturday’s contest as the best defensive team in the SAC as they lead the league with the best scoring defense and best field-goal percentage. The Bears once again lived up to their standards by holding the Wasps below 70 points for the first time ever and shooting 34.3 percent the floor.

Emory & Henry had a cold shooting performance from behind the arc, only connecting on 7-31 of its attempts. The Bears had an three-point defense of 31.7 percent coming into Saturday’s game. Lenoir-Rhyne outscored Emory & Henry in the paint, 36-32.

With his 14-point performance, Chase Mebane has now constructed eight-straight double-digit scoring performances to start the season.
Emory & Henry was aggressive on the offensive end by recording 23 offensive rebounds. The Wasps also out-rebounded the Bears, 46-38. LR won the turnover battle by taking it away 13 times compared to Emory & Henry, who only generated eight turnovers.

This contest marked the first time that Emory & Henry has played in Hickory, N.C. Lenoir-Rhyne leads the all-time series, 2-0.

The Bears have started 2-0 at home for the second-straight season. With this victory, it is the second time in the past three seasons that the Bears won their home conference opener.

This game was the last home conference game in the 2023 calendar year. The next home conference game is slated for Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, against UVA-Wise at 4 p.m.

The Bears are 5-3 overall, 1-1 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team will hit the road again for a mid-week contest against Mars Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.