|December 04, 2009||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||NEWM||WUMBB|
|FG Percentage||.481 (26-54)||.349 (22-63)|
|3P FG Percentage||.125 (2-16)||.235 (4-17)|
|FT Percentage||.417 (5-12)||.640 (16-25)|
Vaughn - 13
Cutler - 3
WINGATE, N.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team was tied at the half against the Wingate Bulldogs in both teams' South Atlantic Conference opener, but long scoreless streaks in the second half and struggles at the free throw line sent Newberry to a 66-59 defeat.
Newberry (3-4 overall, 0-1 SAC) was led by 16 points from Rodney Lee (Sarasota, Fla.) including two thunderous dunks in the second half that put Newberry back in the game. Ray Robinson (Jacksonville, Fla.) netted 10 points off the bench, while Danny Huffor (Marco Island, Fla.) and David Brown (Goose Creek, S.C.) each scored nine points in reserve roles. Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) snagged 10 rebounds in the game.
Wingate (5-2, 1-0 SAC) was led by 15 points and six rebounds from Odell Turner (Charlotte, N.C.) and 13 points from Jaime Vaughn (McDonough, Ga.). Larry Staley (Charlotte, N.C.) had 12 points off the bench and Paidrick Matilus (Boynton Beach, Fla.) scored 10 points to round out double-digit scorers.
Newberry held Wingate to 35.9% (23-of-64) shooting but the Bulldogs took 10 more shots than their guests thanks to 20 offensive rebounds. Newberry shot 48.1% (26-of-54) from the floor but only 5-of-12 (41.7%) from the charity stripe. The disparity on the offensive boards, the struggles at the line and 21 turnovers were too much for Newberry to overcome.
Newberry took an early lead in the game, pushing the lead to 9-3 on a Bakinde tip-in with 15:37 left in the half. A yo-yo first half saw Wingate narrow the deficit to a single possession on four different occasions and the hosts took their first lead with 7:45 left in the half when a Quan Alexander layup made it 24-23 in Wingate's favor.
The scarlet and gray were able to push the lead back to four points on a steal and breakaway dunk by Brown, but a Bulldogs three-pointer and free throw in the final minute sent the teams to the locker rooms with a 38-all tie score. Of those 38 points, Newberry scored 32 in the paint with 20 points coming from reserve players.
Newberry struggled to score out of the break, only connecting on one field goal in the opening 9:26 of the half. By the time Huffor drained Newberry's only three-pointer of the half it was only a 48-44 Wingate edge as the hosts fought just as hard to find the cylinder.
A pair of Robinson free throws with 6:50 to play narrowed the deficit to 52-49 with less than seven minutes to go and a Lee layup with 4:12 to play cut the lead to one point at 54-53. But Newberry could never regain the lead. Outside of Lee's hard-hitting dunks, the Wingate players took advantage of opportunities. The Bulldogs connected on seven straight free throws while Newberry had two turnovers and two missed three-pointers to push the lead to eight points in the final minute and take the SAC-opening victory.
Newberry held an overall advantage in points in the paint (44-26), but Wingate capitalized on offensive rebounds and had 19 second chance points. The offensive rebounds were Wingate's primary means of setting up their offense, as the Bulldogs only had eight assists on 23 made baskets.
Newberry takes a week off for final exams and closes a three-game road trip on Saturday, December 12, at Lander University. Tipoff at Horne Arena in Greenwood is set for approximately 3:30 p.m. as the game is the second half of a doubleheader with the women's team.