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Blaikley Crooks
Freedom High School grad Blaikley Crooks led the Bears with 19 points.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Wins Over Lander

After losing in overtime late last night to USC-Aiken, The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball team rebounded to defeat Lander on Sunday on Day two of the PBC/SAC Challenge. Blaikley Crooks, a Freedom High grad, led all scorers with 25 points as the Bears overcame a halftime deficit to get their first win of the season 67-57.

Despite both teams shooting 40% from the floor in the first half, the two teams only combined for 50 points as Lander took a 26-24 lead into the break. The Bears only lead of the half was 2-0 as Lander lead by as many as eight in the first half but a three point play by Crooks at the buzzer cut the lead into two. Crooks led all scorers with nine points in the first half as Harman added six points. LR hit all three free throws as the Bears are 21-23 so far from the charity stripe this weekend.

After trailing the whole first half, the Bears took the lead for good on a Maleiya Hill layup with 7:53 left to go in the third quarter. Five straight points from Jalen Gathers to close the third quarter give the Bears a 44-36 lead heading into the final frame. Lander made their final push and tied the game at 48 with 5:36 to go but back to back three-pointers from Tilda Lindstrom and Megan Landsiedel regain the lead for good for the Bears.

The Bears hold a 7-5 advantage in the all-time series as the Bears have won the last two. This is the last time the Bears play a Peach Belt opponent this season. Instead, the Bears next four opponents are Conference Carolina schools.

Emily Harman is 63 points away from moving to 14th all-time in scoring history for the Bears. The duo of Harman and Crooks played in their 75th career game.

After struggling from long range Saturday and a 1-5 first half, the Bears hit 4-5 from deep in the second half.

Lindstrom and Harman joined Crooks in double figures with ten points a piece. No one had more then four rebounds for the Bears as Crooks, Harman and Lindstrom had four a piece.

The only lead changes was within the first thirty seconds of each half. Bears shot 49% from the floor including 59.1% in the second half and 70% in the final quarter.

The Bears are 1-1 and will come home for their home opener on Wednesday against Mount Olive. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 PM from Shuford Arena.