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Blaikley Crooks
Freedom grad Blaikley Crooks led the Bears with 16 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Snaps Three Game Losing Streak

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball team ended their three-game losing streak with a 73-66 road win against Tusculum on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bears also snap a ten-game losing streak against the Pioneers. Freedom High grad Blaikley Crooks led the Bears with 22 points while Emily Harman added 19 points as the Bears led wire-to-wire for the victory.

Along with snapping the 10 game losing streak against Tusculum, it also snaps the five-game losing streak in Pioneer Arena. With just four more conference games, if the seeds hold these two teams will face off in the SAC Quarterfinal on March 1.

In the first quarter, it was all LR as Tusculum did not get its first points until 5:06 left in the quarter. The Bears raced out to a 12-0 lead.
The Bears went 11-16 (69%) from the floor in the first quarter as Crooks led the Bears with eight points. LR took a 23-5 advantage into the second quarter.

After watching Wingate’s red-hot shooting on Wednesday, the Bears saw the other side of the spectrum in the first half on Saturday. Tusculum shot 26% from the floor and 20% from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes thanks to some great LR defense. LR took a 33-22 lead into halftime as Crooks led the Bears with 12 and Azariah Fields had eight.

In the second half, after Tusculum cut the lead into single digits at 39-28, the Bears responded with an 11-2 run to open that 18 point lead once again. The third quarter saw 52 combined points as the Bears scored 28 points and took a 15 point lead into the final frame.
Five straight points by Tusculum’s Blayre Shultz cut the lead to five points with 2:42 left but Emily Harman went 3-of-4 from the free throw line to make sure the Pioneers could not cut the lead to one possession.

Harman scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half to lead the Bears in scoring and keep the Pioneers from making a run. Each team turned it over 20 plus times but the Bears held the 21-17 advantage on points of turnovers.

Crooks led the Bears with 22 points, her fourth game of 20+ points this year. Harman added five rebounds and four assists to go along with her 19 points. Fields had 12 points, six assists and five rebounds. Hannah Stull had a career-high six steals.

Harman is now 36 points away from becoming the 21st player in program history with 1,000 career points. Crooks has reached double figures in points in 21 of 24 games this season after her 22 points.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 19-5 overall and 9-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will return home for their final two home games of the season. Bears will host Anderson on Wednesday and Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. Tip-off from the Shu is 5:30 on Wednesday against the Trojans.