Looking to extend their winning streak to four straight, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team came up one point short in a 73-72 loss to Newberry on Saturday afternoon. The Bears trailed by nine with five minutes to go but cut the lead to 71-69 with 1:21 to play before coming up just short.
The Bears had the ball with 29 seconds to play and a chance to tie the game or take the lead but LR misfired on three straight shots before Tyson McClain's three connected as time ran out to make the final 73-72. That 3-point field goal gave LR 11 on the night and gave them 45 over its last three games.
R.J. Gunn led four players who scored in double digits, pouring in 18 points and adding a team-high seven boards. Mason Hawks, one game after going 7-for-8 from long range and scoring a career-high 25 points, scored 17 points and hit five threes. McClain finished with 14 points and Darius Simmons had 10.
Newberry got 18 points from Luke Gibson and 14 from Marshall Lange. TJ Brown recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards.
The Wolves connected on 50 percent of their field goal attempts, while the Bears shot 43.3 percent from the floor. Each team struggled from the free throw line as LR shot 60 percent and the Wolves connected on 52.9 percent.
Davion Bradford continues to be one of the best defenders in the league, coming up one steal shy of tying his career-high. Bradford had five steals and added six rebounds and four assists.
All six of Newberry's three-point baskets came in the first half as the Wolves went 0-for-5 from long range in the final 20 minutes.
The 80-point mark continues to be an important number for the Bears. LR is 6-0 when scoring 80 or more points.
LR has dropped back-to-back games to the Wolves by a combined three points. LR lost to Newberry on Feb. 6, 2019 by a final score of 103-101.
LR and Newberry are accustomed to playing close games as each of the nine head-to-head games have been decided by single digits. Newberry is 6-3 in those games.
The last one point loss for the Bears came on Feb. 9, 2019 when they dropped a 71-70 contest to Anderson.
Lenoir-Rhyne is now 13-6 inside Shuford Gymnasium over the past two seasons.
The Bears are 7-6 overall, 3-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears hit the road for three straight starting with a Wednesday night matchup with UVA-Wise. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.