Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Wins A 56-54 Thriller Over Tusculum
February 23, 2011
Junior Jeff Thomas and freshman Bryce Hawkins combine for 40 points to lead the Bears
Junior forward Jeff Thomas finished with 20 points and five three-pointers to lead Lenoir-Rhyne to a 56-54 win over Tusculum Wednesday evening in a league contest at home.
Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men's Basketball Team (4-21, 3-14) came out on top in its home finale with a 56-54 victory over Tusculum College (11-16, 8-9) Wednesday at Shuford Gymnasium. Junior forward Jeff Thomas (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and freshman guard Bryce Hawkins (Charlotte, N.C.) each scored 20 points to lead the Bears.
Thomas hit all five three-point attempts while Hawkins matched his career-high in points as the Bears shot 51 percent (19-for-37) for the contest in the victory.
With the score tied at 54 with 1.7 seconds left, Lenoir-Rhyne junior guard Jon Hathcock (Concord, N.C.) hit a pair of free throws and a half-court desperation three by the Pioneers just rimmed out and the Bears held on for the win.
Tommy Klempin (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) finished with a game-high 12 points and Rob Troutman (Mount Washington, Ky.) and Kevin Vest (Dayton, Ohio) added 11 points each as Tusculum suffered its fourth straight loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne jumped out to a 29-19 lead with 7:16 left in the first half and held a 32-26 advantage at halftime.
Vest gave Tusculum its only lead of the second half on a three-pointer with 9:23 remaining for a 41-40 advantage and a back-and-forth contest took hold the rest of the way.
Hathcock came up with a defensive rebound as time was running out and sank the two free throws to lift L-R to the win.
Senior forward Nathaniel Shaw (Fayetteville, N.C.) was honored prior to the contest as part of the Bears' annual Senior Night.
Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Harrogate, Tenn., to face first-place Lincoln Memorial in its final game of the year. The tip-off is set for 8 p.m., on Saturday. Tusculum plays Mars Hill at Mars Hill, N.C., on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.