Lions Top Newberry 80-71 in SAC Opener
Saturday, January 10, 2004 | by by NC Sports Information

MARS HILL, N.C. The Lions used a balanced attack to defeat Newberry College this afternoon by nine points (80-71) in Stanford Arena.   MHC improved to 1-0 in the SAC and 7-6 overall while the Indians fell to 0-1 in the conference and 5-7 overall.

     Ronald Lewis (New Orleans, LA) nailed a 3-pointer with 19:06 on the first half clock and the Lions never trailed the Indians.  MHC extended their lead to 12 points (25-13) halfway through (10:05) the first stanza after Reggie Johnson (Soddy-Daisy, TN) hit one of two free throw attempts.  MHC went into the locker room at the intermission up 44-37.

     Newberry outscored MHC 25-17 to start the second frame and tied the contest at 61 with 9:23 on the clock after Rashaad Carter (North Charleston, SC) hit a layup.  The Lions then reeled off five unanswered points to take a 66-61 lead after Walt Baxley (Winston-Salem, NC) put back his own miss with 8:18 left in the game.  Carter hit a layup for Newberry (66-63) the next trip down the court for the Indians, but that was as close as the Indians would get.  The Lions went on an 8-2 run over the next three minutes to lead by nine (74-67), the same margin by which the home team would eventually win.

     Lewis led MHC with 25 points and six assists and went 6-for-6 from the foul line.  Baxley added 15 points and six boards while Richie Covington (Georgetown, KY) scored 12 points and pulled down a team high eight rebounds.  Covington was 8-for-9 from the foul line in the win.  Kirby Lee (Fort Mill, SC) came off the bench to contribute 10 points.

     Tommy Burke (Newberry, SC) came off the bench to lead Newberry with 20 points and six rebounds.  Carter recorded 17 points and eight rebounds while Elijah Frasier (Irmo, SC) scored 10 points in the loss.

     Mars Hill will host North Greenville College on Monday night at 7:00 p.m.  Newberry will host Lenoir-Rhyne College on Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m.