Newberry fights hard until the end, falls to Southern Wesleyan 73-71
Wednesday, February 2, 2005 | by by Ryan Gross, Newberry Sports Information

CENTRAL, S.C. — The Newberry Indians lost a heartbreaker Wednesday night, falling on the road to Southern Wesleyan 73-71 in men’s basketball action.  Newberry’s overall record falls to 5-14 on the season, while Southern Wesleyan improves to 10-11 on the year.

The Warriors of Southern Wesleyan were able to build a second half lead as large as 11 points, until Newberry mounted a 14-2 run over seven minutes in the second half to pull the Indians within a single-digit, 72-71 with just over a minute left in the game.  After Warrior forward Brandon Paul (Anderson, S.C.) hit a free throw to make it 73-71 with one minute left in regulation, Newberry had two looks at a leveled score, but were unable to convert, sealing the victory for Southern Wesleyan.  Paul was one of three Warriors in double figures, scoring ten points.

Indian shooting guard Michael Dease (Bennettsville, S.C.) led Newberry in the scoring column, notching 15 points and three steals.  Indian forward Reggie Coleman (Orangeburg, S.C.) was the only other Indian in double figures, notching a season-high 12 points in the loss.

Newberry was terrorized all night by Southern Wesleyan’s 5-9 guard Jerans Rapley (Abbeville, S.C.).  Despite his small stature, Rapley had a game-high nine rebounds, and torched the Indians for 14 points.  Warrior point guard Brandon Allen (Laurens, S.C.) led all scorers with 18 points.    

Newberry may take some comfort in the effort of their post players.  On the season, the Indians have started three different players at center, Eric Nwawel (Cameroon, Africa), Adam Howell (Seneca, S.C.), and David Hampton (Orangeburg, S.C.).  These three players, all above 6-7 in height, have averaged a scant 4.4 points per game.  The trio exploded for a combined 18 points and 16 boards on the night.

There is no time to dwell on the loss, as Mars Hill visits the friendly confines of Eleazer Arena tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.  The contest against the Lions was supposed to have taken place this past Saturday, but inclement weather forced the postponement.