|March 07, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TCM||NEWM|
|FG Percentage||.568 (25-44)||.435 (20-46)|
|3P FG Percentage||.563 (9-16)||.333 (6-18)|
|FT Percentage||.769 (20-26)||.652 (15-23)|
HICKORY, N.C. - The second-seeded Newberry College men's basketball team was eliminated from the 2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament on Saturday with a 79-61 semifinal loss to the third-seeded Tusculum College Pioneers at Catawba Valley Community College.
Newberry (21-8 overall) was led by 26 points from senior forward Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) and got 14 points from junior forward Brett Goodwell (Inglewood, Calif.). The scarlet and gray will now await tomorrow night's NCAA Tournament announcement to learn if their season will continue.
Tusculum (20-9 overall) advances to the tournament final against fourth-seeded Catawba on Sunday afternoon. Kyle Moore led the Pioneers with 23 points, while Rob Troutman scored 13 points. Ryan Troutman netted 11 points and Josh Bennett scored 10 markers off the bench.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 7-4 lead before a Jesse Wheeler jumper at the 16:16 mark gave Newberry its only lead of the contest. TC pulled ahead by seven before holding Newberry scoreless for a crucial eight minute stretch. After a Grant Domsic triple with 12:11 to play in the half, Tusculum scored the next 12 consecutive points. Jimmy Boone's triple with 4:26 left in the half put TC up by a 31-15 margin. Goodwell scored six points before the break, but the Pioneers took a 36-22 advantage into the break.
Newberry came out of the locker room with tons of energy, and cut the lead back to single digits within four and a half minutes, when a Matt Alexander layup made it a 40-32 game. But just minutes later, Tusculum went on a 7-0 run capped by Rob Troutman's three-pointer that made it a 52-36 game.
Newberry brought the margin back down to eight points with 7:33 to play, but six straight TC free throws and hot Pioneer shooting down the stretch were too much to overcome. The Pioneers connected on 17-of-18 free throw opportunities in the second half. Tusculum shot 56.8% (25-of-44) from the field in the game, while Newberry connected on 20-of-46 attempts (43.5%). The Pioneers also outrebounded Newberry by a 32-20 margin.
The scarlet and gray now await the announcement of the 2009 NCAA Division II Tournament field on Sunday evening. The field of 64 will be announced at 9 p.m. Sunday at www.NCAA.com.