NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team narrowed a 15-point halftime deficit to just one point late in the second half, but fell just short of a win, as the Carson-Newman College Eagles emerged from Eleazer Arena with a 92-89 South Atlantic Conference win.
Newberry (9-10, 3-5 SAC) was led by Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) who established a new career high with 32 points and added 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and sixth of his career. Martin also tied his own career high with five steals.
Matt Alexander (Atlanta, Ga.) tied his career high in both points and rebounds, as he earned his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) score 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Vytautas Valiulis (Vilnius, Lithuania) added 10 points.
Kendrick Johnson (Orangeburg, S.C.), was just short of his first career double-double, as well as a triple-double. Johnson scored nine points, grabbed 10 rebounds and tied his own school record with eight blocked shots. It was Johnson's second consecutive game with eight blocks.
However, Carson-Newman (14-4, 6-2 SAC) had five players in double digits and canned 11 three-pointers to hold off Newberry's late surge. Bobby Guyton and Jesse McMurray tied for the team lead with 15 points. The game was stopped down with 52.3 seconds left for Guyton, who left the game with a serious injury and was stretchered out by emergency crews.
Scott Williams scored 13 points for the Eagles, while Jordan Dixon added 12 and Darren Williams scored 11. The Eagles forced 27 turnovers to negate Newberry's spectacular 57.6% (38-of-66) shooting night.
Newberry jumped out to an early five-point lead, but a 17-4 Carson-Newman run pushed the Eagles to a 21-11 lead with 11:37 to play. The Eagles would not relinquish the lead, and extended it to as many as 18 before going into the locker room with a 50-35 lead. Newberry's 16 first half turnovers helped give Carson-Newman the lead at the break.
It didn't take the Indians long to get back into the game though, cutting the C-N lead to five points at 55-50 with 16:44 to play. From there, the Eagles extended back to 12 points on a McMurray three-pointer with 14:29 left before a 13-4 Newberry run brought the Indians back within one possession at 67-65 with 9:39 left. Despite chances to take the lead over the next few minutes, the Indians could only come as close as one point.
The guests pulled back away, extending the lead to 10 points at 90-80 on a Scott Williams layup with 2:46 remaining. But the Indians would not go away quietly, closing the game on a 9-2 run. The Indians had the ball in their hands with a chance to tie the game with under ten seconds to play, but Dixon stole the ball away and made a free throw before Andy Tipton deflected the inbounds pass to close out the win for Carson-Newman.
Newberry scored 64 points in the paint and 27 points off turnovers, and had a 50-33 advantage on the boards. However, the 27 turnovers and 17 missed free throws spelled defeat for the hosts.
The Indians return to the road for the first time in a week on Wednesday night, traveling to the mountains of western North Carolina to take on the Mars Hill College Lions at 8 p.m. Carson-Newman steps out of league play and will travel to North Greenville that night.