WINGATE, N.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team's season came to a close Wednesday night as the seventh-seeded Indians lost a Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament quarterfinal to second-seeded Wingate University, 94-83, in Cuddy Arena. Newberry ends its first season under head coach Jeremy Luther with a 12-16 record.
Wingate (23-5) led for the early parts of the game, but was never allowed to pull away. A dunk by Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) at the 10:14 mark gave Newberry its first lead of the game at 16-15. The Indians played steady offense and used a 6-0 run as well as a late three-pointer from Cory Etheridge (Columbia, S.C.) to take a 46-36 lead into the locker room.
Unfortunately for NC, the Bulldogs' started the second half on a 6-0 run and never let up. Wingate shot an astounding 70 percent (21-of-30) from the field in the second stanza. A personal 5-0 run from David Johnson gave Wingate a two-point advantage with 14:46 to play, and a Sam Holmes trifecta at the 13:36 mark gave the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Wingate's hot shooting allowed the hosts to stretch their lead to 12 points with just under six minutes to play, but an 8-2 Newberry run capped by a Keith Marshall (St. Stephen, S.C.) jumper narrowed that deficit to only six points. But conference scoring leader Sean Barnette put Wingate on his back, scoring six points in just over a minute, while the Indians could only connect on one bucket, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Newberry was led by Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas), who scored 24 points and grabbed six rebounds. Marshall closed out his career with a career high 13 points, and Grant Domsic (Winter Garden, Fla.) also scored 13.
Kendrick Johnson (Orangeburg, S.C.) put the wraps on one of the most successful shot-blocking seasons in South Atlantic Conference history with five blocks, giving him a total of 93 swats on the year. That is the fourth-most in SAC history and a Newberry single-season record. His 138 career blocks ties him for eighth in conference history with two seasons to play.
Newberry was 34-of-73 (46.6 percent) from the field on the night. The Indians held a 42-38 rebounding advantage, while outscoring the Bulldogs 13-11 in second chance points and 54-40 in the paint. The Bulldogs shot a blistering 70 percent from the field (21-of-30) in the second half, while they were 34-of-60 (56.7 percent) from the field for the game. Wingate converted 20 Newberry turnovers into 22 points.
Wingate senior forward Sean Barnette poured in 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs. Kenny Villines also notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five steals and four blocks.
With the completion of the season, the Indians await the announcement of the All-Conference awards on Friday.