NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team was unable to hold on to a 14-point halftime advantage as the Indians fell, 84-71, to the Mars Hill College Lions in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday night.
Newberry had four players score in double-digits, but falls to 5-7 overall and 0-3 in SAC play. Grant Domsic (Winter Garden, Fla.) led the Indians with 15 points, including a spectacular shot from near halfcourt at the halftime buzzer to give the Indians their largest lead of the contest. Matt Alexander (Atlanta, Ga.) added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) netted 13 points and grabbed six boards. Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) rounded out the double digit players for Newberry with 12 points and eight boards.
Mars Hill (5-6, 1-0 SAC) was led by P.J. Gore's 19 points off the bench, as the junior was 8-of-12 from the field. Akeene Coakley had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Jamarl Glen connected on five three-pointers to earn 15 points.
The Indians couldn't have started the game much hotter as they jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first two and a half minutes highlighted by a thunderous dunk from Martin and triples from Alexander and Bakinde. The Lions responded with an 11-2 run to narrow the lead to 12-11 with 14:26 until the break.
Both sides struggled to pull away from each other until a 10-0 Newberry run punctuated by a Sami Badawi (Zaragosa, Spain) jumper with 4:31 left in the half gave Newberry a 36-24 lead. Domsic's triple from way downtown gave Newberry a 47-33 lead at the half.
The Lions answered with a roar out of the locker room, scoring the first 11 points out of the break, narrowing the deficit to a solitary point just three minutes into the second stanza. Newberry was unable to score for the first 4:11 of the half. Mars Hill took its first lead of the game with 12:51 to play, when Jabreel Moton's trifecta gave the Lions a 53-51 advantage.
The teams battled back and forth over the next seven minutes, with Newberry claiming its final lead of the game on a three-point play from Martin with 5:35 to play. The Indians would not connect on a field goal attempt for the remainder of the game.
Mars Hill went on a 17-3 to finish the contest and scored a total of 19 points off turnovers in the second half.
The Indians will have to be on top of their game Saturday to respond with their first South Atlantic Conference victory of the season. Newberry hosts Lenoir-Rhyne in the second half of a double-header, with tipoff slated for approximately 4 p.m. Mars Hill hosts league leaders Carson-Newman on Saturday.