JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Newberry Indians used their “Bennettsville Connection” of Michael Dease (Bennettsville, S.C.) and Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.) to steal a win on the road, upsetting favored Carson-Newman 82-78 in men’s basketball action Saturday night. Newberry has now won two conference games in a row and stand at 7-14, 2-6 in the South Atlantic Conference, while the Eagles fall to 9-11, 5-3 in conference play.
Dease and Zimmerman tied each other for the game-highs in scoring, both notching 23 points in the victory. Zimmerman was absolutely unconscious, hitting 9-of-10 shots from the floor and collecting five boards. Dease had a team-high six rebounds included in his totals.
Both teams shot the ball extremely well as the Indians finished the game 26-50 (52%) and the Eagles 27-48 (56%). But the difference in the game came at the charity stripe where the Eagles were only 56% and the Indians were 74% (23-31). Newberry had four players score in double figures, a feat not accomplished by an Indian team since Newberry’s 72-65 victory of Lees-McRae College on November 19th.
Elijah Frasier (Irmo, S.C.) had 14 points and Eric Nwawel (Cameroon, Africa) had 10 points. The Eagles were led in scoring by Jonathan Martin (Knoxville, Tenn.) with 22 points. Andy Tipton (Maryville, Tenn.) and Braun Dabbs (Greeneville, Tenn.) each had 14 points and Amonzo Gantt (Royston, Ga.) added 10 points.
The game was extremely close throughout the entire contest as the score was tied 13 times and the lead changed 21 times. Carson-Newman’s biggest lead in the first half came at the 10:04 mark when Marquise Foster (Greenville, S.C.) converted two free throws to put the Eagles up 19-13. The Indians claimed the lead on a Dease three-pointer with 4:39 remaining and would not trail the rest of the half. Newberry led 32-30 at halftime.
The Eagles clawed back into the game and claimed a six-point lead, 69-63, on a three-pointer by Dabbs with 9:08 remaining in the game. But once again Newberry answered the charge and re-took the lead, padding it to 80-75 with 35 seconds remaining. Gantt hit a three-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to make it a one-possession game, but Dease converted both free throws to seal the win.
Both teams play on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. Carson-Newman travels to Lenoir-Rhyne and Newberry hosts Catawba.