Johnson records double-double versus Lenoir-Rhyne on Senior Day

Johnson records double-double versus Lenoir-Rhyne on Senior Day

MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill women's basketball team (1-22, 0-18) fell in the final moments of Saturday's Senior Day contest versus Lenoir-Rhyne (14-12, 9-9 SAC) by a score of 83-81.

With less than two minutes remaining, two free throws made by Madi Suddreth provided the Bears the 76-75 lead.  Answering back, Mariah Johnson drained a three-pointer to retake the lead.  With less than a minute remaining, a Shayla Smith free throw put Mars Hill up by two before Suddreth's free throw pulled Lenoir-Rhyne within one.  Suddreth missed her second free throw, but Madeline Hardy came up with the rebound.  Kennedy Weigt received a pass and threw up an off balance three-pointer that went in, giving Lenoir-Rhyne the 83-81 lead.  In a last gasp attempt, Johnson hurled up a half court shot that narrowly missed the basket as the Lions fell in heartbreaking fashion.

The Lions found themselves down 10-4 after the first three minutes of the contest, but rallied to pull within one with less than four minutes remaining, takin 14 of the next 23 points.  Back-to-back three-pointers from Johnson and Tatum Boggs put Mars Hill 24-19 with 1:30 remaining.  The Bears closed out the frame on a 6-0 run to enter the second quarter up by one.

An early 11-2 run put the Lions up 35-27 with 3:14 elapsed in the second, putting them up by eight.  Lenoir-Rhyne's following 8-4 narrowed the deficit to four points, however, the Lions would maintain the lead for the duration of the half, closing out the first 20 minutes up 43-37.

Boggs led all players with 21 points in the first half while Weigt and Kendall Toineeta each had eight for the Bears.

The third quarter saw the Lions outscore Lenoir-Rhyne 20-19 with Alexis Pardue's eight leading the way.  Mars Hill built their lead to as many as eight, however, the Bears continued to respond,  narrowing the Lions' lead to four on numerous occasions.  Allie Wagner had a team-high six points in the frame for the Bears.

With 6:42 left in the game, the Lions held a 10-point lead before the Bears rallied to score eight straight, cutting the Lions lead down to two.

Boggs led all players with 25 points, going 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.  Pardue added 18 points while Johnson collected the double-double, scoring 18 and collecting 10 assists.  Weigt led the Bears with 20 points followed by Toineeta's 18 on the day.

At the conclusion of the game, seniors Sheena Johnson, Shayla Smith, Baylea Loven and Mariah Johnson were honored for their contributions for the women's basketball program.

The Lions wrap up their 2019 home schedule on Wednesday, February 27th versus Anderson.  Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Stanford Arena.

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