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The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team beat Belmont Abbey, 79-66, in non-conference action on Tuesday afternoon in Shuford Arena. The Bears beat the Crusaders in a matinee, a 1 p.m. tipoff in the last game before the Christmas break.
Each team came out hot with the two combining for 29 points in the first five minutes. However, it was LR that would pull ahead with a 12-0 run.
The Bears would take a 38-28 lead into the intermission and held the Crusaders to just 12 points in the final 15 minutes of the half. Jacquias Franklin led LR with 10 first half points and Tim Steele added nine while Sam Martin had seven points and seven boards.
Belmont Abbey would use a four-point play to even the game at 47 with 11:48 left as they clawed back into the game. The Bears would have the answer again, using an 11-0 spurt to go up 58-47. LR would stay up 11 until the 4:11 mark when the visitors would cut it to 71-66 with 2:17 to play.
Jaheim Taylor would hit a huge three and Nas Tyson connected on a 3-point play to put the Bears back up 11. The Bears scored the final eight points of the game as Steele hit a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left.
Tyson led the Bears with 18 points and Steele had 16 points with six rebounds. Jacquias Franklin had 14 while Tay smith chipped in 11. The Bears shot 48.3 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from three. LR would also convert 18-of-20 (90 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Bears had a 25-11 edge in points off turnovers and a 16-5 lead in second chance points. LR stays undefeated at home against Belmont Abbey in the NCAA Era, winning all six. This is the first of two straight at home against Conference Carolinas foes. The Bears are 8-3 for the second time in the past four years.
LR is 8-3 overall on the season. The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team stays at home with a game against Emmanuel on Saturday, December 30 at 4 p.m.