|January 21, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||NEWM||TCM|
|FG Percentage||.353 (18-51)||.465 (20-43)|
|3P FG Percentage||.222 (4-18)||.588 (10-17)|
|FT Percentage||.792 (19-24)||.808 (21-26)|
Dawkins - 10
Goodwell - 10
Bennett - 1
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - The Newberry College men's basketball team fell behind early and a second half comeback fell short as the scarlet and gray dropped a 71-59 decision to the Tusculum College Pioneers in Pioneer Arena on Wednesday night.
Newberry (13-4, 3-3 SAC) had three players tie for the team lead in scoring as Jesse Wheeler (Suwanee, Ga.), Brett Goodwell (Inglewood, Calif.) and Will Dawkins (Spartanburg, S.C.) each scored 10 points.
Tusculum (11-6, 3-3 SAC) followed Kyle Moore (Gainesville, Fla.) who scored 24 points. Rob Troutman (Mt. Washington, Ky.) had 12 points and Ryan Troutman had a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.
The host Pioneers came out of the gate scorching hot, while Newberry struggled on the offensive end of the floor. TC was 8-of-11 from behind the arc, including 4-of-6 from Moore. Newberry scored the opening bucket on a Martin putback dunk, but the Pioneers scored the next 15 points in a row to take a 15-2 lead with 12:34 left in the half.
Newberry narrowed the margin to nine points in just over the next minute, but Tusculum outscored NC 17-7 down the stretch to take a 35-16 lead into the locker room. The scarlet and gray 6-of-22 (27.3%) from the floor in the opening stanza and turned the ball over 10 times.
The scarlet and gray would not go quietly, though, making the Pioneers battle for every point on the defensive end of the floor in the second half. The two teams went back and forth in the first part of the second half, but TC pushed its lead to 24 points on a Moore jumper with 9:19 to play.
But in the next four minutes, the scarlet and gray added some suspense to the action, going on a 16-4 surge that cut the lead to 12 points on a layup by Vytautas Valiulis (Vilnius, Lithuania) that made it a 61-49 game with 5:21 to play. Newberry continued to pressure the Pioneers defensively and made stops, but long possessions made it tough for Newberry to get the ball back and score the points to get a win. A Valiulis free throw with 2:25 to play cut the lead to nine points at 63-54, and Matt Alexander (Norcross, Ga.) brought it to within eight in the final two minutes, but a Wheeler offensive cut the run short and give the Pioneers the 71-59 lead.
After the Pioneers shot 72.7% from the land of three in the first half, Newberry held TC to 2-of-6 three point shooting in the second half. However, Newberry was able to connect on only 4-of-18 three-pointers (22.2%) in the game. Tusculum's precise free throw shooting helped push the Pioneers to victory, as they were 21-of-26 from the charity stripe. Newberry was nearly as exact at the stripe, shooting 19-of-24 on foul shots.
Newberry returns home to Eleazer Arena on Saturday to take on No. 11 Catawba (13-4, 5-1 SAC), who was upset by Lincoln Memorial, 85-70, in Harrogate, Tenn., tonight. Tipoff for the second half of the conference doubleheader is slated for approximately 4 p.m. The Newberry College football team will receive its 2008 SAC Championship Trophy and other conference awards at halftime of the men's game.