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Blaikley Crooks
Freedom grad Blaikley Crooks was one of two Bears with 16 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Opens Season With Win

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team opened their season with a dominant win over USC-Aiken in the first game of the PBC/SAC Challenge, 70-52. The Bears led by as many as 27 points in a wire-to-wire victory. Blaikley Crooks led all scorers with 16 points, while Emily Harman added 13 points on the afternoon.

This is the 4th year of the PBC/SAC Challenge with these four teams. The Bears move to 3-1 against USC-Aiken during this challenge. LR moves to 2-1 in season openers under Coach Grahm Smith. Harman is now 37 points away from 700 career points.

In the first half, the Pacers actually scored the first point of the game, but a Maddie Dillinger layup with 6:58 left in the first quarter gave the Bears a 2-1 lead, a lead the Bears held on for the rest of the game. LR went on a 11-2 run after the Pacers’ first point of the game. The Bears held USC-Aiken to just four field goals in the first and 17% shooting in the half. The Pacers did dominate the glass in the half, out rebounding the Bears 24-11 including 10 on the offensive glass.

In the second half, the Bears opened a 20-point lead in the third quarter and stretched the lead to 27 in the middle of the 4th. Nine different players scored in the second half for the Bears, led by seven by Crooks and Harman. The Bears drilled 12 of 13 free-throws in the half and went 20-for-23 from the line in the game. The LR defense forced eight turnovers in the second half and 19 in the game.

Crooks and Harman each added five rebounds to lead the Bears. Azariah Fields scored seven points including 5-for-5 from the free throw line in her Bears debut. She added four dimes as well. Megan Landsiedel had five steals to help the Bears to 24 points off turnovers.