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TJ Nesmith
TJ Nesmith led the Bears with 18 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Drops First Game of Season

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team suffered this first setback of the year as the Bears fell to Mount Olive 70-63 on the road on Wednesday. TJ Nesmith lead the Bears with 13 points while Jalen Johnson (11) and Salle Wilson (10) joined Nesmith in double figures on the afternoon.

LR made more free throws (23) than field goals (19) in the contest as the Bears shot a season-low 38% from the field. The Bears also struggled from long range only hitting 2-14 (14.3%) from three. Bears came into the game 37.5% from deep (27/72).

Mt. Olive started red hot on their home floor as the Trojans jumped out to a 9-0 lead including two three-pointers by Michael Brown. The Bears get cut the lead to one possession late in the first half but four straight points to end the half by the Trojans’s Shane Peterson gave Mt. Olive a six point lead at the intermission.

Mt. Olive hit their first three shots from long range to open the second half to open a thirteen point lead with 17:29 left to go. Trojans in total hit 10-30 from long range in the game. The Bears made their push to try to take their first lead of the game cutting the score to 51-50 with 7:05 but then Nesmith was whistled for two straight fouls in six seconds which sent him to the bench with four fouls as Mt. Olive scored eight of the next twelve points to grow the lead back to five.

LR got the score back to one possession after a L.J. McCoy three with 1:03 but Mt. Olive hits four from six from the free-throw line in the final minute to give the Bears their first loss of the season.

This was the first meeting between programs since the 2011 season. The all-time series is now tied at five. Eight Bears had at least three rebounds but no one had more than four (Nesmith). LR had a season low four assists on the afternoon. It is the second time this year LR did not block a shot in the contest.

The Bears are 3-1 on the season. LR will return home with a matchup vs Converse inside the Shu. Tip-Off is schedule for 4:00 PM.