November 16, 20091st2ndFinal
Southern Wesleyan294978
Stats at a GlanceSWUMNEWM
FG Percentage.519 (27-52) .414 (24-58)
3P FG Percentage.313 (5-16) .320 (8-25)
FT Percentage.826 (19-23) .652 (15-23)
Offensive Rebounds911
Defensive Rebounds2818
Total Rebounds3729
Bench Points4620
PointsLambic - 25
Barnes - 14
ReboundsWilson - 7
TEAM - 5
AssistsWilson - 3
Cutler - 5
StealsLagroone - 2
Cutler - 6
BlocksLagroone - 2
Corpening - 2
Robinson - 1
Huffor - 1
Bakinde - 1
Newberry men drop season opener to Southern Wesleyan, 78-71

Newberry men drop season opener to Southern Wesleyan, 78-71
Monday, November 16, 2009 | by Barnes' 14 leads five double-digit scorers, but NC can't hold off SWU second half charge

NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team led by as many as 12 points in the second half, but a hot-shooting Southern Wesleyan team put on a second half surge that spelled out a 78-71 defeat for Newberry in its first home game under head coach Steve DeMeo.

Newberry (0-1) led by eight points at the half and extended that lead to 12 just 30 seconds into the second period, but SWU (4-0) shot 70% from the floor in the second half to earn the victory.

Redshirt freshman Ryan Barnes (Oviedo, Fla.) led five Newberry players in double-digit scoring with 14 points in his Newberry debut. True freshman Devante Cutler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 13 points while dishing out a game-high five assists and snagging six steals. Newberry scored 26 points in the game off of 23 SWU turnovers.

Coleman Young (Spartanburg, S.C.) netted 11 points off of the bench, while Ray Robinson (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) each scored 10 for the scarlet and gray.

Southern Wesleyan was led by 25 points off of the bench from Nikola Lambic (Zrenjanin, Serbia). Nick Lagroone (Ninety Six, S.C.) scored 17 points for the Warriors, while Nathan Wilson (Sydney, Australia) scored 10 points and passed off a team-leading three assists.

SWU led the game 5-3 after the first minute of play before Newberry went on a 13-3 run over the next six minutes capped off by a mid-range jumper from Jeremee Davis (Albany, Ga.). The Warriors answered back with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 18-all with 7:35 left in the half.

The teams traded buckets for the next two minutes, but Newberry closed the half on a 14-4 run to take a 37-39 lead into the locker room. Newberry shot 12-of-29 (41.4%) in the opening 20 minutes, including six three-pointers. SWU only connected on 1-of-7 treys in the opening half and shot 13-of-32 (40.6%) from the floor.

Newberry jumped out with two straight buckets to open the half, including a spectacular run of play from Cutler in which he drew a charge, made a layup on the ensuing possession and sprinted back down the floor to make a steal in transition. But it was the Warriors who quickly swung the momentum of the game, taking only five and a half minutes to reclaim the lead after being down by 12. A 17-3 surge capped by Lagroone's triple with 14:28 to play put the Warriors up, 46-44.

The scarlet and gray continued to battle neck-and-neck as the game grew more physical in nature. Newberry could not reclaim the lead from the hot-shot Warriors, but SWU could not extend the lead to more than two possessions until Lambic's free throws at the 3:33 mark gave the guests a 71-64 lead. Newberry missed its next four shots and found itself trailing by its largest deficit of the half with 2:11 to play when a Lagroone free throw gave SWU a 72-64 lead.

But the battle was not over for the scarlet and gray. Cutler netted two free throws and a layup to cut the lead to four, while Lambic sank a pair of free throws on the next possession to put the lead at six. Barnes nailed a tough three-pointer to cut the deficit to three points, but SWU's Aramus Smith (Clemson, S.C.) made a layup with less than five seconds left on the shot clock to put the lead back at five. Newberry was called for an offensive foul on its next trip down the floor, sealing Southern Wesleyan's fourth straight win.

The game turned out to be a study in contrasting halves, as SWU shot an astonishing 70% in the second half, with 17 points coming off of Newberry turnovers. SWU also made 19-of-23 (82.6%) of its free throws while Newberry was only 15-of-23 (65.2%) at the charity stripe. Newberry will have a chance to hand SWU a loss on its home floor as well this year, as the two sides will meet again in Central at Tysinger Gymnasium on December 17.

Newberry must respond from the loss quickly, as the scarlet and gray embark on their first road trip of the season on Wednesday. Newberry visits Georgia College and State University for the first leg of a home-and-home series. Tipoff at the Centennial Center in Milledgeville, Ga., is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKDK-AM 1240 in Newberry County and online at Southern Wesleyan hosts Brewton Parker in its conference opener on Thursday.