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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 Edges Malone

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team improved to 3-0 for the second time in the past four years with a narrow 74-73 victory over Malone on Saturday afternoon. T.J. Nesmith led the Bears with 18 points including two clutch baskets in the final minutes to lead the Bears to the non-conference victory.

The player of the game belonged to the Pioneers’ Bo Myers who went off for 40 points on 15-of-26 shooting, including 7-of-14 from long range. It was the first 40 point game for an opposing player against the Bears since Courvoisier McCauley of Lincoln Memorial went for 44 on Dec. 18, 2019. Myers added 12 rebounds but missed a couple late free throws which proved to be pivotal.

Nesmith finished with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting and added four boards. Nas Tyson had an efficient night with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added three rebounds. Jalen Johnson had 14 points and a career-high eight assists and was 3-of-5 from long distance. LR went 10-of-21 as a team from long range and hit eight of those triples in the first half.

Malone stayed in the game with offensive rebounding as they grabbed 18 offensive boards and converted those ino 18 second chance points. The Pioneers were down four with 10 seconds as LR missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and hit a three at the buzzer to make it a 1-point margin.

This was the first all-time matchup between the two programs. Malone had a 2-game swing in the South and went 0-2 by a combined three points. LR most previously was 3-0 to start the 2019-20 season.

Johnson is up to an even 350 career points for LR. This marks the 1,412th win for LR men’s basketball and 78th for Everick Sullivan.

LR will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Mount Olive at 3 p.m.