|January 31, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||NEWM||C-NM|
|FG Percentage||.516 (33-64)||.397 (25-63)|
|3P FG Percentage||.571 (8-14)||.250 (6-24)|
|FT Percentage||.684 (13-19)||.844 (27-32)|
Alexander - 3
Valiulis - 3
Goodwell - 3
Stephens - 3
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - The Newberry College men's basketball team moved to 6-3 in South Atlantic Conference play with an exciting 87-83 victory over Carson-Newman College in Holt Fieldhouse Saturday night.
Newberry (16-4, 6-3 SAC) was paced by a career-high 21 point effort from senior guard Matt Alexander (Atlanta, Ga.). Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) and Jesse Wheeler (Suwanee, Ga.) each netted 14 points, while Vytautas Valulis (Vilnius, Lithuania) added 12 and Brett Goodwell (Inglewood, Calif.) scored 11.
Carson-Newman (6-13, 3-5 SAC) was led by 26 points from Joey Cameron, 14 points from Jordan Dixon and 10 from Jesse McMurray.
The two teams traded buckets in the opening two minutes of the game before Newberry took off on a 16-3 surge over the next two minutes, quickly opening a 19-9 lead. Carson-Newman cut the deficit to five points on the next two possessions, but Newberry went on another 11-2 run capped by a Will Dawkins three-pointer to take a 13-point lead with 11:58 to play in the half.
But the Eagles scored the next eight consecutive points to narrow the margin back down to five. Newberry crept to an 11-point lead, but Carson-Newman's fast paced offense cut the lead to two with 4:46 to play on a Jesse McMurray three-pointer.
However, both offenses stagnated during the latter stages of the half, and Newberry took a 40-38 lead into the half. The scarlet and gray were 6-of-10 from behind the arc in the opening half.
A Cameron bucket on the opening possession of the second half, putting things back at all square and guaranteeing an exciting finish to the game. Newberry scored the next six points of the game to take a 47-41 lead on a specatcular alley-oop dunk from Valiulis to Martin.
The two teams battles back and forth, with Jordan Dixon cutting the lead to 61-57 for Carson-Newman before the scarlet and gray took their largest lead of the second half at 10 with six consecutive points, capped by a Will Dawkins jumper at the 10:52 mark.
Carson-Newman held Newberry scoreless from the 8:48 mark until there was 7:20 on the clock, and scored nine straight points of their own to cut the margin to a sloitary point at 69-68.
Newberry responded with a 7-0 run to take an eight-point lead with 5:26 left. But the Eagles chipped away at the lead from the free throw stripe as the hosts did not connect on a field goal from the 7:20 mark until the final minute, but McMurray's triple cut Newberry's lead to 83-81.
But Wheeler and Alexander but four points on the board from the charity stripe in the final 12 seconds to secure Newberry's sixth SAC win and place the scarlet and gray in a tie for second place in the league with Tusculum.
Newberry held a 44-30 margin in rebounding, including 19 offensive rebounds. Martin had nine total rebounds, with seven on the offensive end. The team had eight blocks, with Wheeler's five swats leading the team.
The quest for a regional berth continues in Eleazer Arena on Wednesday night, as Newberry hosts Mars Hill on "Blackout Night." Fans are encouraged to wear black to the 8 p.m. tipoff.