|February 04, 2012||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||NEWM||L-R|
|FG Percentage||.431 (25-58)||.500 (26-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.292 (7-24)||.357 (5-14)|
|FT Percentage||.889 (24-27)||.667 (26-39)|
Walker - 6
Beasley - 3
Walker - 3
Hawkins - 2
HICKORY, N.C. - The Newberry Wolves and Lenoir-Rhyne Bears battled down to the wire in a game featuring 24 ties and 20 lead changes, but the Wolves were unable to answer a late L-R surge as the hosts emerged with an 83-81 South Atlantic Conference in Shuford Gym on Saturday evening.
Newberry sees a five-game winning streak snapped and falls to 13-7 overall and 7-5 in the SAC entering Wednesday night's contest at league-leading Anderson. Lenoir-Rhyne moves to 11-10 overall and 7-5 in the league.
Shamel Akins (Charlotte, N.C.) scored 23 points for Newberry to lead all scorers, going 7-of-8 from the field and 9-of-10 at the free-throw line. Matt Dixon (Elizabeth City, N.C.) scored 14 points and Dondray Walker (Fountain Inn, S.C.) scored 13 for the scarlet and gray.
The Wolves struggled mightily from the floor in the opening half, connecting on just 8-of-23 (34.8%) of their shots, but a strong charity stripe performance kept the Wolves within striking distance. Newberry made 17-of-18 (94.4%) of their free-throw opportunities, and L-R led 38-36 at the half.
In a pressure-filled game, the largest lead of the half came as Akins made a pair of free throws at the 6:59 mark to put Newberry up 28-24. The lead would hit four points once more in the opening period, but L-R closed out the half on an 8-2 run.
The second half was more of the same tight battle until the 7:53 mark. With Newberry leading 65-64 after a Savad Garner (Fountain Inn, S.C.) layup, L-R went on a quick 7-0 run to take the largest lead of the game at 71-65 with 6:52 left on Allan Jones' three-point play. However, the Wolves reclaimed the lead with a 7-0 run of their own, with a Chris Reynolds (Augusta, Ga.) three-point play closing out that run.
The final two minutes of the game provided the Bears with the winning touch. L-R led only 77-76 but made 6-of-8 free throws in that span. A pair of Bryce Hawkins free throws with 12 seconds remaining put the hosts up by six, and the Wolves were not able to charge back.
L-R shot 54.2% (13-of-24) in the second half and was 17-of-25 (68.0%) at the free-throw line, while Newberry was only afforded nine free throw chances in the second half.
In the game, Lenoir-Rhyne made 26 free throws to Newberry's 24 made free throws, providing the winning margin. A total of 50 fouls were called in the game with 66 combined free throw attempts.