McClures shine as L-R edges TCFormer Pisgah standouts combine to score 34 points as Bears beat Pioneers
HICKORY — Tusculum sophomore point Rory McClure, a former Pisgah standout, had a career-game on Saturday as he scored 12 points, dished out four assists, pulled down three rebounds with no turnovers and played the entire game in his second career start.
However, Lenoir-Rhyne senior point guard RJ McClure was a tad better than his younger brother.
The former Pisgah standout scored a game-high 22 points as the Bears came back from an 11-point deficit (52-41) in the second half to defeat the Pioneers, 71-68, in a South Atlantic Conference game Saturday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
“I love Rory,” said (RJ) McClure. “But when it tips off, there is no brotherly love. I’m sure Rory feels the same way. It’s as simple as that. ”
Tusculum, which suffered its 11th consecutive setback, dropped to 1-13 overall and 0-8 in the SAC, while L-R improved to 7-5 and 6-2 in the SAC.
The Pioneers, which finished with a 38-26 advantage in rebounding, led 33-31 at the half. Tusculum went on a 19-10 run to start the second half, sparked by five points from Rory McClure, to take a 52-41 lead with 12:57 left in the game.
But L-R surged back, sparked by RJ McClure’s 11 points, to tie the game at 65 at the 2:27 mark. But with 14 seconds left in regulation, L-R sophomore guard Will Perry hit the game-winning lay-up to give the Bears a 70-68 lead.
Lenoir-Rhyne also shot 52 percent (15-of-29) from the field in the second half while improving to 5-0 at home this year. Rory McClure was 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, while RJ McClure finished with four treys (4-of-10). The Bears have won eight straight contests dating back to last season as well at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
L-R plays at Newberry at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in a SAC contest. Tusculum, meanwhile, returns home to face Lincoln Memorial at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in a conference matchup.