The 100th season of Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball officially kicked off on Saturday afternoon as the Bears defeated Catawba 93-86, at John Lentz Court inside Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
This is the 210th all-time meeting between Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba. The Bears now own a 115-95 edge in the all-time matchup that dates back to 1926.
This officially tipped of the 65th season inside Shuford Gymnasium for the Bears – the facility officially opened in 1956. This marked the 732nd all-time game inside the Shu.
LR improves to 66-34 all-time in season openers. The Bears are now 38-33 against Catawba in the SAC Era.
R.J. Gunn and Terrence Whitfield each scored 12 points for their respective teams in the first half and each went 5-for-6 from the floor. The Bears hit on 55.6 percent of their first half shots and went 6-for-13 from long range.
Catawba was 6-of-12 from 3-point land and 14-of-29 from the field.
LR opened the season with an alley-oop dunk off the first play as Davion Bradford hit Gunn.
The Bears came out of the break hot and extended a 44-40 halftime lead to 56-44 with 16:51 to play. However, Catawba had the answer and came all the way back to take a 73-69 lead with just over seven minutes remaining.
With the Bears needing baskets late, Darius Simmons took over and scored nine points in the final five minutes. Zim Fields had a clutch and-1 late in the game to seal the victory and Gunn buried a clutch 3-pointer to send LR to 1-0 on the year.
Gunn finished with 22 points and added seven boards. Simmons had 18 points with four assists. Mason Hawks had 14 points and four assists and went 6-of-9 from the field.
The Bears are 1-0 on the season. L-R hits the road for a rescheduled game at Mars Hill on Wednesday afternoon.