December 04, 20101st2ndFinal
Stats at a GlanceTCMNEWM
FG Percentage.553 (21-38) .380 (19-50)
3P FG Percentage.600 (3-5) .346 (9-26)
FT Percentage.761 (35-46) .578 (26-45)
Offensive Rebounds511
Defensive Rebounds2918
Total Rebounds3429
Bench Points2240
PointsSteigerwald - 19
Akins - 25
ReboundsSteigerwald - 9
Reynolds - 4
Davis - 4
Flowers - 4
TEAM - 4
AssistsSteigerwald - 3
Slusher - 3
Vest - 3
Davis - 2
Ryan - 2
StealsSteigerwald - 3
Akins - 3
Ryan - 3
BlocksSteigerwald - 1
Bostick - 3
Wolves drop 80-73 decision to Tusculum in SAC opener

Wolves drop 80-73 decision to Tusculum in SAC opener
Saturday, December 4, 2010 | by Akins scores 25, but Pioneers make 10 free throws in final minute and a half to earn win

NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College Wolves held a one point halftime lead, but the visiting Tusculum Pioneers made 23 free throws in the second half to earn an 80-73 win in Eleazer Arena in the South Atlantic Conference opener for both squads.

Newberry (3-3, 0-1 SAC) was paced by 25 points from Shamel Akins (Charlotte, N.C.) and 11 points from Coleman Young (Spartanburg, S.C.). The game was tightly called, as the teams combined for a total of 67 fouls and 91 free throws. Tusculum (3-5, 1-0 SAC) did the best job taking advantage of its chances at the charity stripe, knocking down 35-of-46 (76.1%) of its free throws, while the Wolves hit 26-of-45 (57.8%) of their free throws.

The Pioneers' deliberately paced style slowed the Wolves down, and the visitors also had the edge in shooting and rebounding. Despite Newberry forcing 24 Pioneer turnovers, TC shot 55.3% (21-of-38) from the field and held a 34-29 rebounding edge. Justin Steigerwald (Cincinnati, Ohio) had 19 points and nine defensive rebounds, while Rob Troutman (Mt. Washington, Ky.) had 14 points and eight boards to lead the Pioneers.

Neither team was ever able to pull away to a double-digit lead in a game that saw 10 lead changes and 10 ties. Tusculum scored the first six points of the game and the Wolves weren't able to score until a Renard Flowers (Stone Mountain, Ga.) three-pointer with 15:13 on the clock. Tusculum led 10-3 with 12:32 to play in the half, but Newberry went on an 11-0 run in less than a minute and a half to take a 14-12 lead at the 10:48 mark of the half.

Newberry took its largest lead of the game at the 7:29 mark of the half, going up by a 21-16 margin thanks to four consecutive made free throws from Chris Reynolds (Augusta, Ga.). However, over the next two minutes, Tusculum stole the momentum with a 9-0 run to take a 4-point lead with 5:30 left in the half. By the 2:00 mark of the half, Newberry had re-taken the lead and was able to take a 1-point lead into the locker room, 35-34.

Tusculum forced 13 Newberry turnovers in the first half, which the Pioneers converted into 18 points, but eight of Newberry's nine field goals in the half were three-pointers, helping the Wolves hold the lead.

The teams continued at their back-and-forth battle, with either a Newberry lead or a tied game intact until a Steigerwald free throw at the 11:35 mark gave the Pioneers a 1-point lead at 47-46.

Neither team could pull away to more than a one possession lead until a 10-0 Pioneers run helped the guests to a 7-point lead at the 4:57 mark, 64-57. From that point on, Tusculum held the Wolves at arm's length. Newberry cut the lead to three points with 2:46 to go, but 10-of-11 free throw opportunities in the final minute and a half and allowed Newberry to rebound just two missed shots in the final 2:30 to hold onto the win.

The Pioneers' 22-11 rebounding margin in the second half and 11-of-19 shooting in the period helped them overcome 12 turnovers and win the game.

Newberry moves on to the Joe Manchin Classic hosted by Salem International University in Salem, W. Va., next Friday and Saturday. The Wolves play California (Pa.) at 3 p.m. Friday and Hiwassee (Tenn.) at 5 p.m. Saturday.