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Jaheim Taylor
Jaheim Taylor had 16 points, and was a perfect, eight-for-eight at the free throw line.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

LR Men’s Basketball Lose 15th Game in Last 16 at Newberry

Eleazer Arena continues to be a tough place to play for Lenoir-Rhyne as the Bears dropped a 71-66 decision to Newberry on Wednesday night. LR is just 11-19 in the NCAA era at Newberry and just 1-15 in the last 16 games at Eleazer.

The Bears played an excellent first half and jumped out to a 32-22 advantage after the first 20 minutes. LR held Newberry to 10-of-31 shooting (32.2 percent) from the field and 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) from long range. A three-pointer by Devario Sheppard gave Newberry an 18-15 lead with 8:12 left in the half. However, Newberry would manage just four more points in the last 8+ minutes of the half. A jumper from Cris Paez made it 18-17 and ignited a 15-4 run for LR to close out the first half. Jaheim Taylor’s layup with 16 seconds left in the half ended the first half scoring for LR. Newberry would answer with a bucket with four seconds left which ended a 4:13 scoreless drought.

A three-point play by Tim Steele just 82 seconds into the second half pushed the Bears lead to 37-24, their largest of the game. Newberry would answer with a 9-0 spurt culminating in a jumper from James Lovorn. LR would punch back and Nas Tyson’s jump shot at the 9:43 mark put the Bears up 50-41 and forced a Newberry timeout. Coming out of the TO, Newberry scored eight straight to draw within one. They would draw even on three different occasions but LR had the response each time. At the 3:14 mark, Newberry’s Jalen Johnson gave the Wolves a 64-62 lead. It was Newberry’s first lead since 18-17 with 7:46 left in the first half. Tay Smith hit a pair of free throws to draw even but Lovorn’s triple started a 7-0 run for Newberry to make it 71-64 with just over a minute to play. Newberry shot a scorching 70 percent in the second half, connecting on 21-of-30 shots. Lovorn had 13 in the second half and went 5-of-6. Taylor led LR with 11 second half points and hit 4-of-5 from the field. LR shot 50 percent in the second half but turned the ball over eight times.

Of the past 15 road loss at Newberry, eight have been by five points or fewer. This was the 2,601st all-time game for Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball.

Taylor came off the bench to lead the team with 21 points, a season high for him. Taylor has averaged just over 17 points per game over his last three contests. Newberry played just seven players and Johnson and Caleb Byrd each played 40 minutes.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 9-6 overall, 4-3 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears will return home to host Carson-Newman on Saturday at 4 p.m.