|January 14, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LMU-M||NEWM|
|FG Percentage||.377 (20-53)||.426 (23-54)|
|3P FG Percentage||.167 (3-18)||.333 (6-18)|
|FT Percentage||.375 (6-16)||.619 (13-21)|
Goodwell - 3
Martin - 3
NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and cruised to a 65-49 victory over the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters in South Atlantic Conference action at Eleazer Arena on Wednesday night.
Newberry (12-3, 3-2 SAC) followed the lead of sophomore forward Jesse Wheeler (Suwanee, Ga.) who set a career high in points for the second consecutive game, putting 26 points on the boards to go with seven rebounds. Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) added 12 points.
NC forced 31 turnovers and allowed only 49 points in the game. The 49 LMU points is the fewest points Newberry has allowed in a South Atlantic Conference game since a 59-44 win over Tusculum on Jan. 22, 2003.
Lincoln Memorial (8-7, 3-2 SAC) had a double-double from sophomore forward D'Mario Curry (Detroit, Mich.), who scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench. Stuart Miller (Harrogate, Tenn.) added 10 points for the Railsplitters. The LMU starting lineup combined for only nine points in the contest.
LMU scored the first bucket of the game on a jumper from Brandon Armstrong (Decatur, Ga.), but would not lead again after that. Newberry blasted ahead with a 13-2 run over the next six minutes, capped by one of Wheeler's four three-pointers on the night.
The guests split the lead down to five at the 10-minute mark, but another Newberry surge put the game out of reach. The 9-0 run ended by yet another Wheeler bucket at the 5:40 mark gave the hosts a 14-point lead. Newberry would stretch that lead to 17 points at the break when Matt Alexander (Norcross, Ga.) scored a layup on the half's final possession to give Newberry a 37-20 lead going into the locker room.
Newberry forced 14 turnovers and held LMU to 8-of-21 (38.1%) shooting in the first half, and held the Railsplitters' starters scoreless after LMU's first possession of the game. In contrast, the scarlet and gray shot 15-of-27 (55.6%) from the floor in the opening stanza, with 18 points coming off LMU turnovers.
Wheeler struck first in the second half, as his trifecta at the 18:12 mark gave Newberry a 20-point lead. Lincoln Memorial continued to battle throughout the second half, and even narrowed the margin down to 12 points with 11:43 left to play, when Miller's trey made it 51-39. Newberry responded emphatically with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes. Martin's layup with 8:14 to play put Newberry ahead 62-41 and gave the hosts their largest lead of the game at 21 points.
The reserves hit the floor to thunderous applause, as the scarlet and gray played in front of the student body for the first time in nearly a month, and Will Dawkins (Spartanburg, S.C.) capped the Newberry scoring with a pair of free throws.
LMU won the battle on the boards, 42 to 31, but most of those rebounds were on the offensive end of the floor late in the game. The 31 turnovers were far too much for the guests to overcome, as was an abysmal 3-of-18 (16.7%) shooting mark from behind the arc.
Newberry picks up its 12th win of the season to match the win total of each of the last three years. This is the most wins by the Newberry men's basketball team since David Conrady took the then-Indians to the SAC Tournament championship five years ago with a 16-13 overall record. With a minimum of 13 games to play, Newberry is now only three wins away from clinching only the third winning season since the program joined NCAA Division II in 1991-92.
The scarlet and gray will continue on their quest this Saturday with their final regular season non-conference game of the season. Tipoff against Allen University is set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Eleazer Arena. LMU returns to Tex Turner Arena this weekend to host Lenoir-Rhyne at 8 p.m.