NEWBERRY, S.C. – Newberry raced to a double-digit first half lead, withstood a Mars Hill charge in the second period, and missed only one field goal in overtime to win, 90-85, in Saturday’s basketball action at Eleazer Arena. Newberry (12-15, 6-8 South Atlantic Conference) solidifies its fifth place position in the conference. Mars Hill (9-18, 3-11 SAC) misses its chance to tie for sixth place with the loss and will finish the season eighth.
After 40 minutes of play, Michael Dease (Bennettsville, S.C.) canned a three to break a 73-all tie at the end of regulation. Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) made one of two foul shots on Newberry’s next possession. After another empty Mars Hill possession, Martin brought the house to its feet, collecting an alley-oop pass from Alonzo Hinds (Freeport, Bahamas) and throwing it down with a Lion defender draped on his back. The basket and foul shot were good, and Newberry held momentum and a seven-point advantage.
Mars Hill trimmed the lead to three with 1:20 left in the extra period with a Walt Baxley (Winston-Salem, N.C.) trifecta, but Zach Chandler (Greenville, S.C.) answered on the other end. Two more Hinds’ free throw put the lead at 89-81 with 27 seconds on the clock. Mars Hill converted two uncontested layups for the final margin.
Seniors Dease and Mark Butler (Vidalia, Ga.) were honored before the contest, their final home game, and both broke into the scoring column early. Butler scored Newberry’s third and fourth points on a baby right-handed hookshot, and Dease increased the lead to 9-2 with a three-pointer at 17:33. The Indians had a ten-point lead in 5½ minutes, Monroe providing the exclamation point with a steal and two-handed dunk to make the margin 19-9. Newberry expanded the lead to 13 at one point, but settled for a 45-36 advantage after 20 minutes.
Nine minutes after intermission, Mars Hill secured its first lead at 58-57 off a Marques Maxwell (West Palm Beach, Fla.) layup. The Indians took control with nine straight points but could go up by no more than five in the remainder of the second. Mars Hill outscored Newberry 6-1 over the last 4:33 of regulation to send the game to overtime. Baxley’s three with 30 seconds left knotted the game at 73, but his two-pointer to win failed to go down at the buzzer.
Monroe and Baxley tied for game-high scoring honors, each netting 22. Newberry held Baxley to almost six points under his average. Four other Indians had ten or more points: Hinds (16), Chandler (15), Martin (14), and Dease (12). Monroe and Martin recorded double-doubles, the pair collecting 14 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Behind Baxley for the Lions were Maxwell with 20 points and Jamison McIver (Taylorsville, N.C.) with 13.
Newberry will travel to Wingate for its first round Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament game against fourth-seeded Wingate. Mars Hill will play at Presbyterian, Catawba, or Lenoir-Rhyne pending the outcome of tonight’s games. Both contests will take place Wednesday night, with times to be announced on Sunday.
Newspaper Box Score
Mars Hill College vs Newberry College
02/25/06 4:15 p.m. at Eleazer Arena, Newberry, S.C.
NEWBERRY COLLEGE 90, MARS HILL COLLEGE 85
MARS HILL COLLEGE (9-18, 3-11 SAC)
Baxley, Walt 6-16 7-8 22; Maxwell, Marques 7-12 2-3 20; McIver, Jamison 5-7 3-4 13; Hippolyte, James 4-6 0-0 8; McDowell, Elliott 4-8 0-1 8; Aline, Chris 2-4 2-2 6; Blake, Tony 2-3 1-2 6; Miller, Andy 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 31-57 15-20 85.
NEWBERRY COLLEGE (12-14, 6-8 SAC)
Monroe, Sammy 8-13 2-3 22; Hinds, Alonzo 5-10 5-6 16; Chandler, Zach 6-18 2-6 15; Martin, Clemente 6-10 2-4 14; Dease, Michael 4-9 0-0 12; Burke, Tommy 1-3 0-0 3; Alexander, Matt 1-4 0-0 2; Butler, Mark 1-1 0-0 2; Etheridge, Cory 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 33-71 13-21 90.
Mars Hill College............. 36 37 12 - 85
Newberry College........... 45 28 17 - 90
3-point goals-Mars Hill College 8-13 (Maxwell, Marques 4-4; Baxley, Walt 3-7; Blake, Tony 1-1; McDowell, Elliott 0-1), Newberry College 11-29 (Monroe, Sammy 4-7; Dease, Michael 4-6; Hinds, Alonzo 1-3; Burke, Tommy 1-3; Chandler, Zach 1-6; Etheridge, Cory 0-1; Alexander, Matt 0-2; Martin, Clemente 0-1). Fouled out--Mars Hill College-None, Newberry College-Dease, Michael. Rebounds-Mars Hill College 30 (Hippolyte, James 7), Newberry College 42 (Monroe, Sammy 14). Assists-Mars Hill College 14 (Blake, Tony 5), Newberry College 21 (Alexander, Matt 6). Total fouls-Mars Hill College 17, Newberry College 16. A-711