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Tay Smith
Tay Smith led the Bears with 20 points in the game.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Falters at Limestone

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team fell on the road against Limestone in South Atlantic Conference play on Wednesday night, 74-69. The Saints erased a five-point halftime deficit and outscored the Bears 42-32 in the final 20 minutes to come back and get the win. Tay Smith led all scorers with 20 points for LR.

The Bears ran out to a 37-32 lead at the half and used lockdown defense to gain the lead. The Bears held the Saints to just 11-of-29 shooting from, just a 37.9 percent clip. LR shot 42 percent from the floor in the first half but hit just 1-of-9 from long range.

Limestone would start the second half on a 10-3 run to grab a 42-40 edge but Smith would hit a three at the 14:46 mark to reclaim the lead for LR. Limestone would open up a seven point lead at 58-51 with 7:54 to play but the Bears had an answer. LR came back to pull within one at 62-61 with 3:38 to play on a layup by Jaquias Franklin.

The Saints would never relinquish the lead although the Bears cut it to one on multiple occasions. A 3-point play from the Saints Zeb Graham with 20 seconds left sealed the game for the hosts who led 70-67 before Graham converted the old-fashioned three-point play to put Limestone up 73-67.

LR was held to just 3-of-16 shooting from long range in the game but the Bears did grab 22 offensive rebounds. The Bears dominated the glass, outrebounding the Saints 45-28. LR was led by 10 boards from Sam Martin. Jaheim Taylor had 13 points and Nas Tyson added 11.

The two teams went into the game with identical 3-1 SAC records. LR has dropped three of the last four games against Limestone.

Smith’s 20 points are the second-most this season. He has scored in double figures in seven straight games. The Bears have four players averaging double figures in scoring.

Lenoir-Rhyne falls to 8-5 overall, 3-2 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will return home to host UVA Wise on Saturday at 4 p.m. Saturday’s game with the Cavaliers will be the 2,600th all-time game in LR men’s basketball history.