skip to Main Content
Blaikley Crooks
Freedom grad Blaikley Crooks set a career high with 26 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Start Season 9-0 With Win Over Coker

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team, who were ranked No.9 and No. 20 in national polls this week, moved to 9-0 with a 61-52 win over Coker Saturday afternoon in Shuford Arena. A trio of Bears scored in double figures lead by 16 from Freedom High grad Blaikley Crooks. The Bears defense forced 30 more turnovers on the afternoon as the Bears stay perfect on the season and moved to 2-0 in SAC play.

The Bears started fast, scoring the first eight points of the game. However, Coker then went on a 11-3 run of their own to tie it at eleven. Coker finished the first quarter shooting 8-14 from the floor but the Bears took a 21-18 lead heading to the second quarter.

Bears started the second quarter with another huge run, this time the Bears started the quarter with a 9-0 run to open their biggest lead of the half at twelve.

Neither team shot the ball well in the second quarter. LR was 4-19 (21.1%) while Coker was just 2-13 (15.4%) from the floor as the Bears took a 35-26 lead into the break. The story of the half was turnovers. LR, who entered the game fourth in the nation in forcing turnovers at 26.1 per game, forced Coker into 17 first half turnovers. The Bears scored 20 of their 35 first half points off Coker’s mistakes.
Crooks lead the Bears with 10 points in the half including 8 from 10 from the free throw line.

Coker scored thirteen of the first seventeen points of the second half to cut the lead to 39-37, which would be the closest Coker will get as the Bears then went on a quick 6-0 run including two layups from Crooks to extend the lead back to eight. Azariah Fields capped off the third quarter with an old fashion three point play with just seven seconds left as the Bears took a 55-40 lead into the final quarter. Crooks’ jumper in the third quarter was her 500th career point.

After shooting 69% in the third quarter the Bears went ice cold in the fourth quarter only shooting 15% (2-13) in the frame. Bears scored only six points in the last period but Coker could not capitalize on the poor shooting as the Cobras could not cut further into the lead as the Bears held on for a 61-52 win.

Brandi Hudson (15) and Harman (12) joined Crooks in double digits. Fields struggled from the field shooting 3-14 on the night but added four assists and six rebounds to go along with her 7 points. Crooks added a career-high six steals as the Bears forced Coker into 30 turnovers on the night. Harman started her 50th career game for the Bears.

Brandi Hudson had a career-high 35 points in last year’s meeting in Hickory between these programs. Coker won that meeting 73-72 in overtime after the Bears scored the last eleven points in regulation to force overtime.

LR came into the game leading the SAC in points per game at 80.6 per game while Coker only scores 63.7 per game, good for 11th in the SAC.

Bears came in at No. 9 in this week’s D2SIDA poll, their highest ranking ever. LR also came in at No. 20 in the coaches poll this week.

UNC-Pembroke will head to Shuford Arena on Monday night for a 5:30 tip-off against the Bears.