Men's basketball leads nation in blocked shots for fourth week in a row

Men's basketball leads nation in blocked shots for fourth week in a row
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | by Scarlet and gray are in nation's Top 40 in seven categories

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Newberry College men's basketball team leads NCAA Division II in blocked shots per game for the fourth straight week according to this week's national statistical rankings. The scarlet and gray are in the top 40 nationally in seven categories.

Newberry has blocked 140 shots in 20 games this season, for an average of 7.0 blocks per game. The scarlet and gray are one of only two Division II schools that average over six blocks per game, with the University of the Incarnate Word (Texas) in second place nationally at 6.2 blocks per contest.

Newberry has an overall record of 16-4 at this point in the season, and the .800 winning percentage is tied with six other institutions - Stonehill, Incarnate Word, Angelo State, Arkansas-Monticello, Valdosta State and Northern Kentucky - for 25th best nationally.

Defensively, Newberry is holding its opponents to 38.6% shooting from the floor, which is ninth best in the nation. Newberry's foes are only connecting on 29.7% of three-point attempts, which is 22nd in the country. Other top 40 rankings for the scarlet and gray include 33rd in scoring margin (+11.3 points per game), 37th in scoring defense (allowing 63.8 points per game) and 37th in steals per game (9.3 thefts per contest).

Individually, junior forward Kendrick Johnson (Orangeburg, S.C.) ranks fifth in the nation in blocked shots per game at 3.4 swats per game. Florida Southern College's Rashaad Singleton leads the country with 3.9 blocks per game.

Newberry takes on Mars Hill College - which is ranked first nationally in steals per game (12.9 steals per game) and turnover margin (+5.9) - tonight in Eleazer Arena. The "Blackout Night" game is the second game of a doubleheader and is set to begin at approximately 8 p.m.