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Brandi Hudson
Brandi Hudson scored a season high, and game high of 24 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Opens SAC With a Bang

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team defeated No. 21 Wingate 85-81 in overtime to open their conference schedule Tuesday. With the victory the Bears move to 5-0 for the first time since the start of the 2007 season. Brandi Hudson scored a season-high 23 points including seven points in the overtime period to lead the Bears while Emily Harman scored 21 as the Bears snap a six-game losing streak to Wingate.

In the first half, the Bears jumped ahead early, leading by as many as nine in the first quarter. Harman had a dozen in the first quarter on 5-8 shooting. Both teams shot well in the first quarter (LR-47.1%, Wingate-42.9%) but both teams struggled in the second quarter (LR-30.8%, Wingate-33.3%). LR defense came in forcing 26.3 turnovers a came forced eighteen turnovers in the half as the Bears scored 16 points off the Wingate’s errors in the half.

After the Bears opened a 39-29 lead in the third quarter, the momentum switch as Wingate made their run. The Bulldogs went on a 18-7 run to take their first since early in the first quarter. A Bryanna Troutman fast break layup at the horn give Wingate a three point lead after three quarters, which was their biggest lead of the game at the point. A lead Wingate will grow in the 4th quarter.

Wingate shot 68.8% in their big third quarter while the Bears remained cold shooting after the break (35.3%). Bulldogs opened a nine point lead with 5:29 left before the Bears made a 12-2 run to regain the lead with 1:50 left. Back to back baskets by Crooks give the Bears a five point lead with :52 seconds left. Azariah Fields free-threw with :40 seconds give the Bears a six point and it looked the Bears were heading to a victory.

However, Wingate cut the lead to two and after Harman split a pair of free throws with six seconds left Wingate tied it with a Lauren Sullivan three pointer that bounced high off the back of the rim and fell through to send us to overtime.

Hudson than took over in overtime as the senior had a block, rebound and a fast break layup to give the Bears the lead for good. Hudson scored seven of her game high 23 points in the extra period. Hudson went 2-3 from the floor and 3-4 from the charity strip including icing the game with :02 seconds left.

Both teams are in the Piedmont division as the SAC adopted division play starting this season. The last win prior to this contest for L-R was on February 13, 2019 when the Bears won 66-62 in Hickory. It is the second straight overtime game in Hickory between these teams. Wingate survived the Bears 71-68 last November. The Bears moved to 2-0 against ranked teams this season.

Hudson scored twenty plus points for the first team this season after doing it eight times last year. Hudson also hit 13-15 from the charity stripe. Harman’s 21 points were a season high. Harman added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Bears forced 32 turnovers in the game as five Bears had at least three steals lead by Megan Landsiedel’s four. Fields stuffed the box score as the grad transfer added 13 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals, and two blocks for the Bears.

The Bears will host Converse on Saturday. Tip-Off is at 2:00 PM