SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team dropped its opening game of the 2006-07 season to the Limestone Saints, 79-78, in the first game of the Anderson Hardwood Floors Tipoff Classic at the G.B. Hodge Center on the campus of USC Upstate on Friday night.
Newberry (0-1) took a one-point lead with under a minute to play, but were done in on a buzzer-beating shot by Marques Williams of Limestone (1-0).
Newberry led for the entire first half and took a 39-31 advantage into the break. The Indians had led by as many as 11 points in the opening stanza. However, Limestone was able to fight back early in the second half, stealing the momentum and taking its first lead of the game with 16:02 to play in the game.
The game swung back and forth, with Limestone leading by as many as eight points with six minutes to play.
Newberry fought back to retake the lead on a jumper by Cory Etheridge (Columbia, S.C.) with 2:58 to play, but was unable to extend its lead beyond a single score for the rest of the game, sending them to the loss in the first game of the season.
Limestone can thank a hot shooting streak for the win, as the Saints shot 68% (17-for-25) from the field in the second half, and 58.8% in the game. Four Saints scored in double figures, led by Shawn Poppie with 21.
Newberry shot 49.2% in the game, but the Limestone shooting barrage proved to be too much. The Saints held a 46-38 scoring advantage in the paint, while Newberry scored 25 points off turnovers to Limestone's 14.
The Indians were led in scoring by Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas), who scored 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. Martin also snagged six rebounds and five steals in his 29 minutes.
Zach Chandler (Greenville, S.C.) scored 16 points and had four steals for the Indians, and was followed in double figures by Alonzo Hinds (Freeport, Bahamas) with 11 points. Hinds also had eight assists.
Newberry plays its second game of the Anderson Hardwood Floors Tipoff Classic against homestanding USC Upstate at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The Indians open their home slate on Nov. 21, when they host Allen University. Tuesday's tipoff in Eleazer Arena will be at 7 p.m.