The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team suffered its first defeat of the 2020-21 campaign at the hands of No. 19 Queens on Saturday afternoon. In a last minute rescheduling, the Royals came away with an 88-68 victory inside Curry Arena.
The game was agreed upon by both teams about 27 hours before tip-off as the Royals were originally scheduled to take on Mars Hill. However, due to COVID-19 protocols, that game was postponed and the Bears and Royals decided to play. Queens shot 61.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from long range in the victory. The last time an opponent shot over 60 percent from the field in a game was Lincoln Memorial who hit on 60.3 percent of their field goal attempts on Dec. 18, 2019. After hitting 26 free throws in their most recent game, Lenoir-Rhyne only hit two from the charity stripe. The 23 total rebounds by Lenoir-Rhyne is the lowest amount since grabbing just 22 boards at Chowan back in Dec. 30, 2016. Queens now owns an 18-10 edge in the head-to-head series and are 10-4 against LR in Charlotte.
In the first half, Queens hit on 61.5 percent of their field goal attempts in the opening 20 minutes, while the Bears shot 42.9 percent from the field. LR grabbed an 18-16 advantage before Queens went on a 20-8 run to take the upper hand. Despite the hot shooting, Queens took just a seven point lead into the break at 41-34 after Armon Muldrew scored just before the halftime buzzer. Muldrew scored nine points of the bench, a career-high early in the career of the freshman.
In the second half, Queens flexed their muscle to start the second half and pusthed the lead to 55-38 just four minutes into the second half. Lenoir-Rhyne cut the lead to 12 at 61-49 off an R.J. Gunn 3-pointer with 13:54 but the Bears wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the way. Gunn poured in 13 points and sits at 955 for his career. Queens extended the lead to as much as 21 in the second half.
Darius Simmons led the Bears with 16 points and now needs just 28 more points to reach 1,000 for his career. Zim Fields made his first start of the season and scored 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
Lenoir-Rhyne goes to 2-1 overall and in South Atlantic Conference play. The Bears jump right back to action on Saturday against another ranked opponent when No. 2 Lincoln Memorial comes to town for a 4:30 p.m. tipoff.