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Tay Smith
Tay Smith led the Bears with 20 points in the game.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

LR Men’s Basketball Drops South Atlantic Conference Opener

Despite a strong shooting second half, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team could not catch up with Catawba as they fell short in the conference opener by the final score of 85-74.

It was a slow start for LR behind the arc with 1-of-12 shooting in the opening half, however, the Bears began to find their stroke in the second frame by converting on seven of their 14 attempts.

Tay Smith was one of the four LR players that recorded double figures as he ended with a game-high 19 points. The junior went 7-of-15 from the floor including three three-pointers.

Both programs had identical shooting percentages from the floor (43.9%) and behind the arc (30.8%). In addition, both teams recorded identical bench scoring with 23 points. LR’s key contributor was Jaheim Taylor with 15 points while Catawba’s Montraivis White had eight. The stand-out difference in the box score was second chance scoring. Catawba out-weighed LR, 23-6. Chase Mebane was LR’s leading rebounder with seven boards. The junior also tallied 11 points with 32 minutes on the floor. The Bears won the fast-break battle with 16 points in transition compared to Catawba’s 10.

LR continues to lead the all-time series record, 39-38. In conference matchups, LR leads Catawba, 38-31. Catawba has won three-straight contests LR; the Indians have also won seven of the past 10 meetings. The Bears have lost in their last four trips to Catawba. The last LR victory in the Goodman Arena came onSet featured image Jan. 18, 2020. LR has lost two-straight conference openers. The Bears dropped their SAC opener to Wingate, 89-69, on Dec. 3, 2022.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team are 4-3 overall, 0-1 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will return to the hardwood on Saturday, Dec. 9, for its home conference opener against Emory & Henry. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Shuford Arena.