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Crooks hits career-high in L-R win
College basketball

Crooks hits career-high in L-R win

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Lenoir-Rhyne's Blakley Crooks awaits a pass in this file photo from earlier this season. Crooks, a Freedom High 2020 graduate, helped lead L-R to a win Monday night as she scored a season-high 13 points.

HICKORY — Blaikley Crooks and Alyssa Wagner each set career-highs with 13 points in the Lenoir-Rhyne women's basketball team’s 63-52 win against Newberry late Monday in the Bears’ home finale.

L-R pushed a one-point lead after one quarter to a 13-point margin by halftime, opening the second period with an 8-0 scoring run and shooting 76 percent in the decisive frame. The Bears led by as much as 22 in the second half.

The contest was both teams’ fourth in eight days, a stretch that opened with a 72-61 Newberry home win over L-R. With the win, the Bears finished 5-4 at home for the season and for the third straight season, finished above .500 at home.

In 20 minutes off the bench, the freshman guard Crooks (Freedom H.S.) added five rebounds (four offensive) plus one assist and one steal, making 6 of 9 shots from the field including 1 of 2 from beyond the arc. All but two of her points came after halftime, and she crossed 100 points for the season in the fourth quarter.

Also for L-R (5-13, 5-12 South Atlantic Conf.), Emily Harman had a near triple-double, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-high nine assists in the victory. Mallory Sherrill made it four Bears players in double figures with 10 points.


Catawba 91, L-R 80

The Bears (8-5 SAC) lost for the third time in their last four games Monday night in Salisbury. Darius Simmons (25) and R.J. Gunn (21) combined for 46 points, but L-R trailed for the last 28-plus minutes of the contest.

L-R came in shooting just 28 percent from 3-point range over its last five games and was worse than that (5 of 23; 21.7 percent) on Monday despite the fact the Indians had allowed opponents to shoot a whopping 43 percent from long range this year. The Bears also connected on only 9 of 20 free throws.

Armon Muldrew scored 12 points for L-R. Gunn added a season-high eight rebounds, while Simmons recorded a game-high five steals.

Both L-R teams wrap up the regular season today, with the men playing at Tusculum and the women at Queens. They will then open play in the expanded 2021 SAC tournaments starting Friday.

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