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Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Falls to League-Leading LR

SALISBURY, NC -- Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked 15th in NCAA II, assured itself a share of the South Atlantic Conference Championship with a 79-72 win over host Catawba in men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The win also gives Bear head coach John Lentz his 400th career victory.  Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 21-3 overall and 12-0 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians to 14-11 and 6-7.

The game didn’t see a double-digit lead until the closing minutes, but the Bears used a 15-8 run over the last five minutes of the first half to take control.  L-R led 42-36 at the break and went up 58-49 on a jumper by D.J. Blackmon (Albemarle, NC) with 11:18 remaining. 

Catawba sliced the lead to 62-59 on a layup by Norman Monroe (Newport News, VA/Heritage HS) with 6:30 left and his three-point play with 2:10 remaining left the Indians down only 71-67.  Reggie Bratton (Charlotte, NC) would score the next three buckets for the Bears to give LR a 77-69 edge with just 35 seconds to play.  Elliott McDowell’s (Canton, NC) layin with 17 ticks left pushed the lead to the largest of the game at 79-69.

Five Bears reached double-figures led by Donte Watson (Fayetteville, NC), who had 15.  Josh Rudder (Graham, NC) had 12 of his 14 points in the opening stanza.  Bratton and Josh Kindred (Holly Springs, NC) each added 11, while McDowell tossed in 10.  Catawba was paced by Donzell Williams (Salem, VA/Glenvar HS), who tallied 14 points.  Antonio Houston (Charlotte, NC/E. Mecklenburg HS) added 12 points, while Monroe and Dominick Reid (Charlotte, NC/Cannon School) each scored 11 points.

The Bears controlled the glass with a 34-25 edge and shot 52%.  Kindred pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

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