CONWAY, S.C. – The Newberry men’s basketball team continued their brutal exhibition schedule on Wednesday, fighting valiantly but eventually succumbing to Coastal Carolina 87-68 Wednesday night. The game marked the second time in seven days the Indians have faced Division I competition.
“This game tonight hurt more because we felt we had a great chance of getting a victory because of our hard play and hard work,” said head coach Shaun Golden. “Unfortunately they capitalized on our mistakes with numerous baskets in transition and at the free throw line.”
Leading the Indian charge on this eve was junior guard Michael Dease (Bennettsville, S.C.), leading all Newberry scorers with 11 points. Dease did the majority of his damage from beyond the arch, hitting 3-of-6 three-point shots.
Newberry came out with guns blazing the in first half, as they opened quickly with a 5-0 run. The Chanticleers and Indians battled neck-and-neck for most of the first half, has Newberry found themselves with a three-point advantage at the 9:31 mark. Most of the Indians success during the first half can be directly contributed to the gritty play of freshman David Hampton (Orangeburg, S.C.). Hampton hit the boards hard, collecting seven rebounds in the first half. He finished the game tied with a game high nine rebounds and ten points.
However the Chanticleers would not be denied, as they finished the half on a 26-7 run, behind the accurate shooting of forward Moses Sonko (East Greenwich, R.I.) and guard Pele Paelay (Derwood, DE). The tandem led all scorers at the half with 13 a piece. Sonko had the game high point total with 20. Newberry used a miracle three-point shot from half court by Chris Johnston (Flat Rock, N.C.) to cut the lead to 48-32 at the half.
The Indians continued their gutsy play in the second half, hustling for loose balls and put-backs near the basket. For the game, Newberry had 23 second-chance points to Coastal’s 18. Newberry was able to cut the Chanticleer lead to 15 three times, but came no closer.
Although the loss appeared to be lopsided, Golden saw many positives as the Indians move full-steam ahead towards the regular season.
“I am pleased with our performance, but we have to continue to work on our execution for any future success,” closed Golden.
Newberry officially kicks off their regular season this coming Monday, as the Indians travel to Georgia College & State University for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.