HICKORY, N.C. – The Mars Hill women's basketball team (1-9, 0-6 SAC) fell by a score of 80-70 to Lenoir-Rhyne (8-7, 3-4 SAC) on the road Saturday afternoon.
Entering the second quarter down 22-14, Mars Hill rallied back to end the first half to enter halftime up by one. With 5:01 left in the half, the Lions trailed by 12. Mariah Johnson would lead the Lions on a 15-2 run to close out the quarter, scoring seven points of her 11 points in the period. Tatum Boggs added six on two three-pointers.
Hanna McClung scored 10 in the first quarter and ended the first half leading the Bears with 13 points. Johnson (14) and Boggs (13) combined for 27 of the Lions' 36 first half points.
Lenoir-Rhyne's Madi Suddreth led the Bears' charge in the second half, scoring 20 of her 26 points in the final 20 minutes of play. She scored 12 of her points in the third. Seven lead changes would occur in the first 3:45 of play in the third quarter with Lenoir-Rhyne holding 43-42 advantage. The Bears would go on to outscore Mars Hill 22-19 to enter the final frame up with a two-point lead.
Despite Johnson's 12 fourth quarter points, the Lions were unable to rally back against the Bears. Lenoir-Rhyne outscored Mars Hill 23-15 in the final frame to claim their eighth win of the year.
Suddreth ended the game with a team-high 26 points and collected 11 rebounds for a double-double. Madeline Hardy contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds while McClung and Kennedy Weigt also ended the contest in double-figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Johnson finished with a season-high 30 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor and converting on all 12 of her free throw opportunities. Boggs finished the game with 21 points, including five three-pointers. Shayla Smith led the Lions with eight rebounds.
Mars Hill returns home to face Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, January 16th inside Stanford Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.