|February 04, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MHCM||NEWM|
|FG Percentage||.471 (24-51)||.421 (24-57)|
|3P FG Percentage||.333 (5-15)||.353 (6-17)|
|FT Percentage||.636 (21-33)||.462 (12-26)|
Sanders - 3
Goodwell - 2
Martin - 2
NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team took a lead into the break, but struggled from the charity stripe in the second half of a 74-66 loss to the Mars Hill College Lions at Eleazer Arena on Wednesday night.
Newberry (16-5, 6-4 South Atlantic Conference) got 20 points from senior forward Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) and an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double from junior forward Brett Goodwell (Inglewood, Calif.). Jesse Wheeler (Suwanee, Ga.) was just short of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Mars Hill (13-7, 4-6 SAC) was led by 20 points from Danny Sanders (Shelby, N.C.). P.J. Gore (North Myrtle Beach, S.C.) scored 14 and Stoney Polite (Morganton, N.C.) netted 13 off the bench.
Newberry started the game off on a tear, scoring the first six points of the game and opening up an eight-point lead at 14-6 with 14:53 left in the half on a Grant Domsic (Winter Garden, Fla.) three-pointer. After a Sanders bucket, Domsic nailed another triple to push the lead to nine points. The Lions answered with a hot streak, narowing the deficit to one point when Gore's three-point play made it 25-24 with 7:03 left in the half.
Akeene Coakley (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) sank a jumper to give Mars Hill a one point lead with 6:40 in the half, but the Lions would not connect on another field goal attempt until the final seconds of the half. But the hosts struggled to put opportunities away as well, and could only extend their lead to three on a pair of late Wheeler free throws before Jamarl Glen (District Heights, Md.) netted a layup in the closing seconds to cut Newberry's halftime lead to 32-31.
The teams were nearly equal in shooting percentage in the first half, but Newberry held a 24-16 rebounding advantage, including 10 offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Mars Hill scored a basket on the opening possession of the second half to take the lead back, but neither team could pull ahead by more than two scores until midway through the half. A 10-0 Lions run spanning roughly three minutes extended their lead from one point to 11 at the 11:03 mark. Sanders' jumper put MHC up 55-44 at that point, as the Lions scored five points off of turnovers and allowed Newberry to take only two shots in the surge.
Newberry was able to cut the lead to four points after a 6-0 run was capped by a Martin triple, but Polite responded with a trifecta of his own on the next trip down the floor to put the Lions back up by seven with 6:48 to play. MHC scored the next six points to take a 13-point lead in the final two minutes, but Newberry's offensive woes were the story of the second half. From the 7:01 mark until the final minute of the game, Newberry was 0-for-5 from the field, 0-for-5 from the charity stripe and turned the ball over four times. By the time Martin ended the skid with a layup with 56 seconds to play, Newberry was down by 11 and a comeback effort was not feasible.
Mars Hill (47.1%) outshot Newberry (42.1%) in the game and forced 25 turnovers. The Lions - who lead the nation in steals per game - was credited with 15 thefts in the game. Newberry was 12-of-26 (46.2%) from the charity stripe.
The scarlet and gray will look to return to their winning ways on Saturday in an effort to stay in the Division II Southeast Regional Rankings. Newberry will host Lenoir-Rhyne University for a 4 p.m. tipoff in Eleazer Arena. Mars Hill will host Carson-Newman at 4 p.m. Saturday.