HICKORY, N.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team fell to .500 overall and in South Atlantic Conference play, losing to Lenior-Rhyne College, 61-54, despite a late 13-2 run that brought the Indians within three points in the final minute.
Newberry (6-6, 2-2 SAC) only trailed by one point at halftime, 28-27, but Lenoir-Rhyne (9-5, 3-1 SAC) outscored the Indians, 33-27, in the second stanza and got six points from Reggie Bratton in the final two minutes to seal their 17th conseuctive conference win in Shuford Gymnasium.
The Indians were led in scoring by Cory Etheridge (Columbia, S.C.), who netted 15 points in the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne's Josh Kindred scored 16 points to lead all scorers.
Newberry freshman center Kendrick Johnson (Orangeburg, S.C.) tied the school's single game block record for the third time in the last four games, as he swatted five Bears shots. Johnson also scored seven points and led the team with six rebounds.
After Newberry drew within six with 8:49 to play, the Bears went on an 8-0 run to lead, 55-41, with four minutes remaining.
But the Indians responded with an eight-point run of their own, punctuated by a dunk by Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) with 1:50 to play.
The Indians made it a one possession game with 46.1 seconds on two free throws by Zach Chandler (Greenville, S.C.) to make it a 57-54 game, but Lenoir-Rhyne scored on its next possession and made a defensive stop and score to wrap up the win.
Terrance Spillers (Charleston, S.C.) scored 10 points for Newberry, as the Indians shot 39.6% (19-of-48) from the floor, but only 18.8% (3-of-26) from behind the arc.
Newberry returns to action on Saturday, as the Indians return to the friendly confines of Eleazer Arena to host the Licoln Memorial University Railsplitters in a CSTV.com webcast game. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.