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Blaikley Crooks
Freedom High School grad Blaikley Crooks led all scorers with 21 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Drops Three Point Game to Francis Marion

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Team had five players in double figures lead by 19 from Blaikley Crooks but the visiting Francis Marion Patriots defeated the Bears 76-73 on Tuesday evening. Andrea Torres and Mikeba Jones each had 14 points off the bench while Emily Harman had 11 and Jalen Gathers had 10. The Bears fall to 2-2 on the season as LR will open a three game road trip on Sunday.

The game was tied 11-11 with 3:25 left to go in the opening quarter when the Bears went on a 9-2 to close the quarter. Bears shot 47% in the opening ten minutes. The Bears were still up seven with 2:09 left to go in the first half when the Patriots went on a quick 8-0 run to take the lead. After Francis Marion took the lead with :44 seconds left in the half, Harman split a pair of free throws to tie it at 38-38 heading into halftime. Torres hit two of her game high four three-pointers in the second quarter.

The Patriots opened up a five points lead on four different occasions in the third quarter but layup’s by Maleiya Hill, Jones and Crooks gave the lead back to the home team with 1:56 left in the quarter. However it would be the last lead the Bears would have on the night as Trinity Delaney scored with :59 left in the third quarter to give Francis Marion the lead back for good. After a old-fashion three point play by Patriot’s Lauryn Talyor to open the 4th quarter stretch the lead to four, the Bears could not cut the lead into one possession until Harman’s three pointer at the buzzer cut it to 76-73.

The Bears had 30 bench points led by Torres and Jones with 14 points each. Jones, Crooks and Tilda Lindstrom each had seven rebounds for the Bears.
Jones also went a perfect 6-6 from the charity strip. The Bears as mentioned shot 47% in the first quarter and 38% in both the second and third quarter but went cold from the floor (23%) in the final period.

This is Francis Marion first trip to Hickory since 2009. The Bears still hold a 3-2 all-time record against the Patriots. Francis Marion opened their season with four straight games against SAC schools. LR on the other hand is playing their second of four straight games against Conference Carolinas schools.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 2-2 on the season. The Bears will hit the road for a three game swing starting with a trip to UNC Pembroke on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 PM.