MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team (9-16, 3-14 SAC) was defeated by a score of 96-79 by Lenoir-Rhyne (17-8, 11-7 SAC) inside Stanford Arena Saturday afternoon.
The Lions jumped out to an early 13-6 lead with Ja'Shawn Brooks hitting two three-pointers in the run. Following a Bears' 5-0 run, Mars Hill responded with a 7-0 run of their own to go up 20-11 with 12:44 left in the half. The Lions held a 10-point lead with just over 10 minutes left in the first half, but Lenoir-Rhyne would start to chip away at the lead, tying the game at 32-all with under four minutes to play. Darius Simmons gave the Bears the 35-32 lead after a made three-pointer with 2:07 remaining. The Bears continued to add to their lead, ending the half on an 8-2 run to go up 43-34 after 20 minutes of play.
Djibril Diallo led all players with 18 points in the half. Brooks paced the Lions' offense with 14 points.
Lenoir-Rhyne opened the second half on a 7-0 run to build their lead to 16 points. With 12:53 left in the contest, Simmons' second made free throw provided the Bears a 20-point advantage. Their lead would go as high as 23 points, but the Lions were able to gnaw the deficit down to 17 before the final buzzer sounded.
Cory Thomas scored 10 points for the Bears in the second half, followed by Simmons' nine. Brooks led all players in the frame, scoring 17. Matthew Powell and Reggie Wright each added nine in the half.
Brooks led all players with 31 points in the contest, going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Powell ended the game with 11 points, followed by Wright's 10 on the night. Diallo had 23 to lead Lenoir-Rhyne, followed by Simmons' 12 in the contest. Jon Jean led all players with 10 rebounds on the night.
Mars Hill returns to Jefferson City on Monday, February 25th to finish their contest with Carson-Newman, originally played on February 6th. There will be 13:04 on the clock with Carson-Newman leading 56-44.