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Tay Smith
Tay Smith led the Bears with 16 points in the game.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Picks Up Win Over Francis Marion

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team used a balanced offensive attack to come back and beat Francis Marion on Sunday afternoon, 76-71. Tay Smith led LR with 16 points and seven different players scored at least six points in the win. LR earns a split in the SAC/PBC/CC Crossover Tournament to open the season by outscoring FMU 41-33 in the second half.

Smith went 7-of-13 from the field on his way to a team-high 16 points. Chase Mebane had 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 37 minutes of action.

Jaquias Franklin added 10 points and six boards and converted all six of his free throw attempts. LR trailed by five early in the second half but used a 8-0 run to take a 43-40 lead, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

A 3-point play from Tim Steele at the 11:13 mark put the Bears up 62-52, the largest lead of the game. The Patriots would eventually storm all the way back and even the game at 70 with 1:53 to play. Smith’s jumper put LR up two.

FMU went 1-of-2 from the line to make it a 1-point LR lead before Jaheim Taylor grabbed a huge offensive rebound and calmly sank two free throws with 14 seconds left to put the Bears up 74-71. Mebane grabbed a board off FMU’s miss and hit two more free throws with six seconds left to seal the win.

LR went 15-of-20 from the charity stripe. The Bears grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, none bigger than Taylor’s in the final moments of the game. LR held Francis Marion to just 6-of-29 shooting from long range.

This was the first meeting between the two programs since November 11, 2017. The Bears are 8-3 in the NCAA Era against Francis Marion.

The Bears are 1-1 on the early season and will stay on the road to take on Columbus St. next Saturday at 2 p.m. as LR opens with five straight away from home.