|February 18, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TCM||NEWM|
|FG Percentage||.462 (18-39)||.510 (26-51)|
|3P FG Percentage||.375 (6-16)||.235 (4-17)|
|FT Percentage||.692 (18-26)||.565 (13-23)|
Martin - 3
NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team shot 51.0 percent from the floor on the way to a crucial 69-60 victory over visiting Tusculum College in Eleazer Arena on Wednesday night.
Newberry (18-6, 8-5 South Atlantic Conference) came into the game ranked seventh in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region, with their guests ranked one spot ahead of them in sixth. Sophomore forward Jesse Wheeler (Suwanee, Ga.) led all scorers with 21 points, while reigning SAC Player of the Week Brett Goodwell (Inglewood, Calif.) joined him in double figures with 17 points.
Matt Alexander (Norcross, Ga.), Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) and Vytautas Valiulis (Vilnius, Lithuania) each scored eight points with Alexander grabbing a team-high eight boards and Valiulis leading the scarlet and gray with six assists.
Tusculum (17-8, 9-5 SAC) was paced by 18 points from Kyle Moore (Gaiensville, Fla.), with Rob Troutman (Mt. Washington, Ky.) putting 16 points on the board. Josh Bennett (Snow Hill, Md.) was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor en route to an 11 point night, while Ryan Troutman (Mt. Washington, Ky.) scored 10 points.
Newberry jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the opening two and a half minutes, with a thunderous breakaway dunk from Martin on a Goodwell assist capping the run. A pair of Pioneer triples from Rob Troutman and Moore on back-to-back possessions cut the lead to two and another Moore three-pointer with 12 minutes left in the half gave Tusculum a 14-12 lead.
The scarlet and gray answered with a 9-1 run to move out to an eight-point lead again (24-16) with 6:32 left in the period, following a dunk by Goodwell. The Pioneers cut the lead to three later in the half, but Newberry pushed ahead by as many as nine before settling for a 30-23 lead at the half.
In the second period, Newberry used a 17-5 run to take its largest lead of the night at 56-40 with 6:23 remaining on a Valiulis trifecta. With five minutes to play, Newberry was ahead by 16, but Tusculum battled back to cut the lead to single digits in the final minute. TC trimmed the deficit to six with 16 seconds remaining thanks to an offensive rebound and put-back by Rob Troutman, but a pair of free throws by Grant Domsic sealed the victory for Newberry.
Newberry shot 51 percent on the evening, including 12-for-20 in the second period (60%). The Pioneers fired on a 46.2 percent clip, which included an 11-for-20 effort in the second half.
The hosts blocked six shots on the evening and forced 19 turnovers in the game, with 10 coming in the form of Newberry steals led by three apiece from Goodwell and Martin. In addition to his 21 points, Wheeler added six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.
Newberry - which currently stands in third place in South Atlantic Conference play with three games to play - travels to Wingate, N.C., on Saturday to take on the Bulldogs of Wingate University at 4 p.m.