|March 08, 2015||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||NBY||AUWBB|
|FG Percentage||.377 (20-53)||.314 (22-70)|
|3P FG Percentage||.294 (5-17)||.263 (5-19)|
|FT Percentage||.760 (19-25)||.643 (9-14)|
Dillard - 1
GREENVILLE – The Newberry Wolves women’s basketball team knocked off No. 1 Anderson, 64-58, and won their first South Atlantic Conference Championship since winning back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007 on Sunday afternoon.
With Newberry and Anderson tied 55-55, junior guard Colleen Leung (James Island, S.C.) was given enough space to drill a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Newberry a 58-55 lead. The Trojans went down the floor and answered with jumper from the SAC Player of the Year Sierra Simpson to pull back within one.
The Wolves, then clinging to a 58-57 lead with 2:44 remaining in the game, took over as Leung led the charge and scored six of the final seven points in the game from the free throw line to send the Wolves to the NCAA Tournament.
Leung posted in a new career-high, surpassing her 13 points scored against Mars Hill on Feb. 21, and finished with a game-high 17 points. Leung shot 4-for-7 from the floor and got herself to the line often where she went 8-for-11.
Haylee Lepaio (Bathurst, NSW, Australia), the Wolves’ newly-minted all-time leading scorer, recorded her second straight double-double as she poured in 16 points and nabbed 13 boards. Lepaio was named the 2015 SAC Tournament MVP.
As a team, the Wolves had four players score 10 or more points. Nicola Handreck (Heywood, Vic, Australia) had 13 points and three rebounds while Samantha Creed (Montmorency, Vic, Australia) had 11 points. The regular season all-SAC trio of Lepaio, Creed and Handreck were named to the all-SAC Tournament Team.
Earning its first NCAA bid since the 2009-10 season, Newberry fought off the SAC Regular Season Champions time and time again in a game where the lead changed hands on nine occasions. The Trojans, led by the SAC Player of the Year in Sierra Simpson, went only 22-for-70 from the field as Newberry limited them to 31.4-percent shooting.
The scoring margin never exceeded nine points as the Wolves’ largest lead was 51-42 with 7:53 remaining in the game. Anderson’s largest lead was a measly four points and it came on two occasions, the last one was with 12:26 left in the first half and the scored 12-8. Anderson’s last lead in the game was at 38-37 and 11:40 on the game clock in the second stanza.
Despite giving up 21 offensive rebounds to Anderson, the Trojans only held a 15-13 edge in second chance points. Newberry was more efficient shooting as they went 20-for-53 which was good for 38-percent. Newberry went 19-for-25 from the free throw line as the Trojans went 9-for-14.
Anderson jumped out to a 10-5 lead five minutes into the game but Newberry woke up and went on a 12-2 run that was ignited by a Lepaio jumper. The burst was also capped off by Lepaio banked in a layup on a Creed assist and the lead was 17-12.
The Trojans eventually responded with a 6-0 to give them an 18-17 lead. Newberry and Anderson traded buckets before the Wolves scored the last three points of the half from the charity strip to make it 28-23 at the break.
Newberry will find out their NCAA tournament destination tonight at 10 p.m. eastern time on NCAA.com. The NCAA Regional Rounds will begin later this week after seeding and locations are set.