HICKORY, N.C. – The Lions lost on the road at SAC rival Lenoir-Rhyne, 84-74, in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action Saturday evening in Shuford Gymnasium. Mars Hill fell to 3-13 overall and 1-9 in the conference. The Bears improved to 7-8 on the season, 6-4 in the SAC. The contest saw 10 ties and 12 lead changes.
Dotson Griffin led MHU with a double-double scoring 10 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. It was Dotson's first double-double as a Lion. Valentin Bauer came off the bench to score 16 points while Vernon Jackson added 11. Collin Hartman tallied 10 points in the contest. Mars Hill converted on 43.9% (29-66) of their field goals and out rebounded the Bears, 43-37. The Lions scored 42 points in the paint and received 45 points from their bench.
JacQues Chambers also posted a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds. Darrion Evans recorded a game high 18 points while Reed Lucas added 13 markers. The Bears also shot 43.9% (25-57) from the floor and knocked down 80% (24-30) of their free throw attempts.
After Charles Moore gave the Lions a 10-8 lead by hitting a pair of shots at the charity stripe with 13:33 left in the first half, L-R went on a 13-2 run to take a 21-12 advantage with 9:30 left in the first frame after Filip Leskovar hit a layup. Mars Hill then went on a 15-6 run of their own to tie the contest at 27-all with 4:14 left in the opening period after Bauer hit a three-pointer. The teams would go into the locker room at the intermission with the scored knotted at 33-33.
The first 11 minutes of the second half were closely played. The Lions took their largest lead of three points (58-55) with 8:11 left in the game after Hartman scored inside. A three-pointer by Jarvis Calhoun on the Bears next possession tied the contest at 58-58 and L-R would not trail again. The Bears extended their advantage to as many as 11 points (82-71) before holding on to the 10-point victory.
Mars Hill will host SAC foe Brevard on Wednesday, January 18. Tip-off is set for am 8 p.m. start.