WINGATE, N.C. - Wingate University junior point guard Maurice Hoover (Allendale, S.C.) had 21 points and a 16-of-19 night at the free throw line as the Bulldogs defeated Newberry 79-75 in South Atlantic Conference menís basketball action Saturday afternoon in Cuddy Arena on the Wingate campus.
With the win, Wingate improves to 8-15 overall and 4-6 in the SAC. The Bulldogs sweep the season series with Newberry (7-16 overall, 2-8 SAC). Wingate travels to Lenoir-Rhyne College Wednesday night for an 8 p.m. league contest.
Newberry junior guard Michael Dease (Bennettsville, S.C.) led all scorers with 24 points, including a game-high four three-point field goals. Indian sophomore forward Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.) added 18 points and seven rebounds. Thanks to the efforts of Zimmerman and sophomore forward Tommy Burke (Prosperity, S.C.) with seven boards, Newberry outrebounded Wingate 43-35.
Four Bulldogs hit double digits. In addition to Hooverís team-high 21 points, graduate student Gary Marsh (Lillington, N.C.) had 15 points and a team-best nine rebounds. Freshman forward/guard Sean Barnette (Rock Hill, S.C.) netted 13 points, while sophomore guard Ernest Mangum (New London, N.C.) contributed 12 markers.
Hoover scored 15 of his 21 points after intermission. The Bulldogs hit 22-of-27 free throws in the second half (81.5 percent) and 28-of-38 charity tosses for the game (73.7 percent).
Wingate led 64-54 on a free throw by senior forward Ahmad Richardson (Havelock, N.C.) with 6:19 remaining in the contest. Newberry did not disappear, as Dease hit a lay-up and a three-point field goal to tie the game at 71-71 with 1:12 to play.
Hoover hit six-of-six free throws in the final minute and three seconds to keep the Indians at bay. Freshman center Ryan Thys (Raleigh, N.C.) added two-of-two free throws for the Bulldogs in the last minute of play.
The contest was very evenly matched. Both teams hit 41.8 percent from the floor. Wingate hit 23-of-55 field goals, while Newberry netted 28-of-67. Newberry recorded 21 turnovers, while Wingate made 19 miscues.
The big story was Wingateís accuracy at the free throw line. The Bulldogs entered the Newberry game hitting 64.0 percent from the line (eighth in the conference). Wingate finished the game converting 73.7 percent from the charity stripe (28-of-38).
Newberry looks to bounce back into the win column with Wednesday night's contest at Presbyterian. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.