HICKORY – Making key defensive stops at the end of regulation and the first overtime, the Lenoir-Rhyne University men outlasted visiting Mars Hill and won 93-86 in double overtime on Saturday.
The Bears improved to 12-3 overall and 5-2 in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) by winning and left Mars Hill at 6-7, 1-5.
LRU’s Mason Hawks hit a clutch 3-pointer from the corner with 20 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 69.
On the first possession of overtime, Cory Thomas hit a 3-pointer for the Bears. Those were the first of 13 points he scored over the two overtimes.
LRU led by as many as four points in the first overtime but the Lions went on a 6-0 run to lead 79-77. A driving basket by the Bears’ Djibril Diallo with 14 seconds to play tied it at 79.
Mars Hill had another chance to win but Chris Barnette’s 3-pointer didn’t go down, forcing a second overtime.
Thomas scored the first seven points of the second overtime, when LRU led by as many as eight points.
Diallo finished with a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds, Thomas added 18 points and eight rebounds and R.J. Gunn scored 17 points.
For Mars Hill, Matthew Powell had 20 points and Barnette had 17.
The game featured 20 lead changes and nine ties.
The Bears are on a four-game win streak as they head to Coker College on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. SAC game.