|January 06, 2010||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||MHCM||NEWM|
|FG Percentage||.481 (26-54)||.519 (28-54)|
|3P FG Percentage||.313 (5-16)||.313 (5-16)|
|FT Percentage||.571 (16-28)||.588 (10-17)|
Krdzalic - 4
NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team took Mars Hill down to the wire, but a shot in the dying seconds of the game fell short and the Lions emerged from Eleazer Arena with a 73-71 South Atlantic Conference victory Wednesday night.
Newberry (5-9, 0-3 SAC) was paced by a career best 18 points and six rebounds from Ryan Barnes (Oviedo, Fla.), while Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) netted 13 points and eight rebounds. Danny Huffor (Marco Island, Fla.) scored 10 points to round out double digit scorers and Jawuan Lockhart (Washington, D.C.) led the team with six assists off the bench.
Mars Hill (5-6, 1-1 SAC) was led by a game-high 23 points from Stoney Polite (Morganton, N.C.) and 20 points from Danny Sanders (Shelby, N.C.). Dion Malachi (Shelby, N.C.) added 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Newberry shot 51.9% (28-of-54) from the field, but Mars Hill connected on six more free throws than the scarlet and gray to earn the victory. Both teams shot over 50 percent in the second half of the game.
An up-tempo first half saw five ties and 10 lead changes, with neither side able to pull out to more than a one possession lead until the 7:00 mark of the first half. After Sanders tied the game for the fourth time with 9:57 to play at 17-all, Newberry went on a 9-2 capped by a Jeremee Davis (Albany, Ga.) layup to go up by a 26-19 margin. The lead would be Newberry's largest of the game.
The Lions responded with a run of their own to take a 30-28 lead with just under two minutes before the break, but Newberry closed the half out on an 8-0 surge with a Barnes three-pointer and a Bakinde triple and the buzzer to go into the locker room with a 36-30 lead.
Newberry shot 48.3% (14-of-29) from the field in the half with four three-pointers, while Mars Hill was good on 44.4% (12-of-27) of its chances with only one three-pointer.
Mars Hill struck at Newberry's lead right out of the gate in the second half although the pace was considerably slower in the early stages. A 17-2 run over the opening seven minutes of the half was capped by a Polite three-pointer to give the Lions their largest lead of the night at 47-38. Newberry did not back down though, and battled back with a 13-4 run over the next four and a half minutes to tie the game at 51-all on a breakaway dunk by Huffor after a steal by Rodney Lee (Sarasota, Fla.).
Momentum swung once again with the Lions scoring the next seven points and Sanders' three-pointer giving MHC the 58-51 lead at the 5:53 mark. The guests stretched the lead to eight points with just three minutes left on the clock, but a 7-0 personal run by Barnes cut that deficit to just one point with two minutes to play.
Bakinde's jumper with 1:28 to play tied the game at 65-all, but Polite responded with a three-pointer to give the Lions the odd-point lead. After series of free throws and layups, Newberry emerged with the ball and a chance to tie the game with 12 seconds to play after Brittion Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) missed a free throw, leaving Mars Hill with a two-point lead. However, the Newberry offense was unable to produce a clean shot on the other end of the floor, and Huffor's three-pointer fell short to end the game.
Both sides made 14 field goals in the second half, with Newberry connecting on 56.0% (14-of-25) of its attempts and Mars Hill making 51.9% (14-of-27) of its shots. The difference in the game came from the three-point arc - where Mars Hill made four second half three-pointers to Newberry's one - and the free throw line - where Mars Hill was 11-of-17 and Newberry was 6-of-12.
The scarlet and gray will try to break their three-game losing skid on Saturday at home against Lenoir-Rhyne (3-10, 1-2 SAC), while Mars Hill hosts Carson-Newman (6-6, 1-1 SAC).