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

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Downs Lees-McRae

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team dropped 50 points and shot 60 percent from the field in the second half to top Lees-McRae by 11 points on Wednesday nigh, 78-67. The game was the first road contest of the regular season for Lenoir-Rhyne who improves to 2-0 for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

Each team was cold in the first half with the Bears shooting 28 percent and the hosts hitting on 39.2 percent from the field. Lees-McRae would go into the break up 30-28. With the game even at 37, a 3-pointer by Tim Steele keyed a 7-0 burst that gave LR a 44-37 advantage. The lead swelled to 11 a 55-44 on a dunk by TJ Nesmith but Lees-McRae would cut it down to three with 2:34 left to play.

Malik LeGania and Steele scored in the paint on back-to-back possessions and LR went four-for-four from the field to seal the victory.

Four players scored in double figures  led by 16 from LJ McCoy who went 5-for-8 from long range. In his season debut, Jalen Johnson had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds to go with a steal. Nesmith had 10 points and Steele came off the bench to score 12 on 4-for-5 shooting. LeGania had seven points and six boards.

The 16 steals in the game were the most in the past four seasons of LR basketball. The 30 free throw attempts are the sixth-most in that same time span.

LR avenged last season’s narrow 84-81 defeat at the hands of Lees-McRae. The Bears own the all-time series 3-2.

This was win number 1,411 in the program’s history.

LR, 2-0 to open the season, will return home to host Malone on Saturday at 2 p.m.