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LENOIR-RHYNE ROUNDUP: Women’s basketball tops Coker 68-53

LENOIR-RHYNE ROUNDUP: Women’s basketball tops Coker 68-53

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HARTSVILLE, S.C. — The Lenoir-Rhyne women’s basketball team got a career-high 24 points from Maddie Dillinger on the road Tuesday at the DeLoach Center, where the Bears defeated Coker 68-53 to move to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in South Atlantic Conference play. Dillinger has reached double figures in scoring in all four regular-season games this season, although Tuesday’s contest represented her first time as L-R’s leading scorer.

Brandi Hudson added 15 points for the Bears to tie her career high, while Dillinger also pulled down nine rebounds and Hudson had five. Additionally, Emily Harman chipped in seven points, four boards and four steals to help L-R bounce back from four straight losses — the previous two in road exhibition contests against Radford and UNC Greensboro — and hand the Cobras (2-2, 1-1 SAC) their first loss since their season opener on Nov. 12.

Coker’s leading scorer was Hope Richardson with 13 points, while Saquita Joyner finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds and Ahlea Myers had 10 points. The Cobras only shot 18.5% (5 of 27) in the first half and were facing a 36-15 deficit at halftime.

L-R continues a four-game road swing with a 2 p.m. contest at Limestone on Saturday, while the Cobras visited nonconference Winthrop on Wednesday before traveling to SAC foe Lincoln Memorial on Saturday at 2 p.m.


<&underline>Lenoir-Rhyne 67, Coker 64</&underline>

Jalen Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds to play and the Bears went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line down the stretch to hold off a Cobras comeback on the road Tuesday in Hartsville, South Carolina. Nas Tyson paced L-R with a career-high 18 points and four 3-pointers, while three others — Malik LeGania with 12 points and Johnson and T.J. Nesmith with 11 apiece — also enjoyed double-figure scoring nights.

Johnson also dished out a game-high six assists for L-R (3-2, 2-0 SAC), which is now 2-0 in league play for the second straight season. The Bears shot 53.6% (15 of 28) in the opening half and 42.3% (11 of 26) in the second half.

The Cobras (1-4, 1-1) also had four players reach double digits in scoring, with Malcolm Kennedy registering 17 points to go with 15 from Chandler Lindsey, 14 from Williams Onyeodi and 12 from Jahnarious Snell. Onyeodi was Coker’s leading rebounder with nine boards, while Lindsey supplied a team-high five assists.

The Bears’ bench scored 60 points on Tuesday, but L-R was outrebounded 37-23. The Bears travel to Limestone on Saturday at 4 p.m., while Coker is at Lincoln Memorial at the same time.

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GAFFNEY, S.C. — The Lenoir-Rhyne women’s basketball team erased a 16-point first-half deficit, but couldn’t hold its lead as host Limestone escaped with a 72-70 win on Saturday at the Timken Center. The Saints moved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the South Atlantic Conference, while the Bears are now 2-3 and 1-2.

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SALISBURY — The Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team received two goals from Kara Gavaghan — one in each half — in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over South Atlantic Conference foe Queens. The contest was a second-round matchup in the NCAA Division II playoffs, with the Bears avenging a loss to the Royals in the SAC tournament semifinals earlier this month.

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A different player has led the Lenoir-Rhyne men’s basketball team in scoring in each of the Bears’ three games thus far. During Wednesday night’s home opener at Shuford Gymnasium, it was Kevin Kangu’s turn to lead the way, as the senior guard finished with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting.

Grahm Smith was hired as the 13th head coach of Lenoir-Rhyne’s women’s basketball team in April 2020, and his first season at the helm was quite different from a normal campaign. A youthful Bears roster finished 6-14 while also facing off-court challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Lenoir-Rhyne women’s basketball team hasn’t won its South Atlantic Conference opener since 2014, but the Bears came close to doing so on Wednesday evening. L-R led at the end of each of the first two quarters before visiting Wingate rallied to force overtime, ultimately earning a 71-68 win over their SAC foes at Shuford Gymnasium.

MARS HILL — The Lenoir Rhyne volleyball team suffered a four-set road loss at the hands of Mars Hill on Tuesday, winning the first set by a 25-12 score before losing the next three by scores of 25-16, 25-19 and 25-22. The Lions improved to 21-10 overall and 9-8 in the South Atlantic Conference, while the Bears are now 18-7 and 13-4.

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