NEWBERRY, S.C. – Wingate’s Gary Marsh (Lillington, N.C.) hit a free throw with .2 seconds remaining in regulation to propel the Bulldogs to a 73-72 win over the Newberry Indians in men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon. Wingate improves to 5-10 on the year and breaks through with their first South Atlantic Conference victory of the season. Newberry falls to 4-10 and 0-3 in the SAC.
The Indians got out to an unusual quick start in the first half, something which has been an Achilles heel for Newberry this season. The two teams traded punches early, but Newberry was able to build a 14 point lead on a 24-10 run sparked by a three-pointer by Tommy Burke (Newberry, S.C.), and extended by point guard Elijah Frasier (Irmo, S.C.). Frasier had five of his ten points in a 39 second span, and Burke hit two three pointers in the game, finishing with six.
But it was Wingate who took care of business in the second act at Eleazer Arena. While Newberry completely dominated the first half, Wingate came back strong in the final period, shooting 50% from the floor and holding Newberry to 34.4% shooting.
Wingate got down by 16 before launching a 26-8 run to make things very interesting. The Bulldogs were able to take their first lead of the game, 60-58 at the 7:29 mark. They were able to build a lead as many as four points before the score knotted at 66.
One thing Wingate could not control in the second half was Indian guard Michael Dease (Bennettsville, S.C.). Dease hit five trifectas en route to a game high 24 points. Wingate’s leading scorer, freshman forward Sean Barnette (Rock Hill, S.C.), scored 15. Wingate placed five players in double figures in the game.
Newberry’s Frasier hit a clutch jumper with just over minute left to put Newberry up by a bucket, 72-70. Wingate was able to answer with a jumper from Ahmad Richardson (Havelcok, N.C.), leveling the score at 72. It was Richardson’s only field goal of the night.
With about a 14 second differential in time from the shot clock to the game clock, Newberry tried to milk as much time off as possible. But an errant three-point shot from Dease as the shot clock expired was all the Indians could muster, leaving just over 13 seconds for Wingate on the ensuing possession. The ball was taken up quickly by the Bulldogs, and the potential game-winning shot was taken by Barnette, but the ball caught iron. Newberry forward Eric Nwawel (Cameroon, Africa) tried to tip the loose ball out of danger, but was called for a foul, leaving the home crowd at Newberry stunned in disbelief. Marsh missed the front end of two foul shots, but drained his final opportunity to seal the victory for the Bulldogs. Marsh finished the game with 13 points and six boards.
Newberry had one final possession, but Tymere Zimmerman’s (Bennettsville, S.C.) inbounds pass flew a little too close to the sun, hitting the rafters, turning the ball over to Wingate. Zimmerman finished with 11 points and six boards.
Wingate’s point guard Maurice Hoover (Allendale, S.C.) had 12 points and four assists. Newberry’s David Hampton (Orangeburg, S.C.) had his best game in over a month, scoring nine points and collecting four rebounds. The Indians had three players foul out in the final three minutes.
Wingate’s next contest will be at home against SAC-rival Lenoir-Rhyne this Wednesday, January 19th. Newberry welcomes arch-rival Presbyterian also on Wednesday.