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Aaron Edwards scored a career-high 26 points in the 2OT win
Aaron Edwards scored a career-high 26 points in the 2OT win

Newberry men take down Catawba in double overtime thriller, 94-88

Career days from Edwards, Young and Davis pace scarlet and gray to first SAC road win of the season

Box Score

SALISBURY, N.C. – The Newberry College men’s basketball team needed 10 extra minutes of basketball and career days from multiple players to get the win, but ultimately pulled out a 94-88 double overtime victory over Catawba College to earn its first road South Atlantic Conference win of the season.

Newberry (7-11, 2-5 SAC) was paced by a career-high 26 points from Aaron Edwards (Anchorage, Alaska) in his second career start. The junior was 9-of-14 from the floor and made 4-of-6 three-pointers. Edwards pushed Newberry forward with 11 consecutive points in the second half.

Coleman Young (Spartanburg, S.C.) was a sparkplug off of the bench with a career-high 20 points, shooting 4-of-6 from the floor and making 4-of-5 three-point attempts and making 8-of-9 at the free throw line. Ray Robinson (Jacksonville, Fla.) fell just short of a double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds. Robinson scored 20 points for the second straight game.

Jeremee Davis (Albany, Ga.) had one of the best performances by a Newberry point guard in recent memory, dishing out 11 assists before fouling out late in the second half. It was the first time a Newberry player had double digit assists since Vytautas Valiulis had 10 assists at Wingate on December 5, 2007. The last time a Newberry player had 11 assists was when Elijah Frasier dished out 12 assists against Lees-McRae on November 19, 2004. Newberry has played 156 games since that performance.

Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) rounded out Newberry’s double digit scorers with 14 points and seven rebounds. While they were not among the top scorers, Jawuan Lockhart (Washington, D.C.) and Ryan Barnes (Oviedo, Fla.) provided crucial shots that extended the game into overtime periods and allowed Newberry to pull off the upset.

Catawba (11-7, 4-3 SAC) was led by 22 points off the bench by Rob Fields and an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double by Donald Rutherford in a reserve role. Antonio Houston scored 16 points and Donzell Williams scored 14 points to round out double-digit scorers.

Prior to the season, Catawba was predicted to finish as the SAC champions, while Newberry was expected to finish in ninth place and out of the conference tournament. With Saturday’s win, Newberry not only shakes up the conference standings, but puts itself in prime position to exceed early expectations.

The game was tightly contested throughout, as there were 19 lead changes and 16 ties. The first half was a see-saw affair until a torrid shooting streak by Coleman Young. With Newberry trailing 19-8 with 7:54 left in the first half, Young connected on two three-pointers and four free throws for 10 points to give the scarlet and gray a 29-21 lead following an 11-2 run that was capped by a Robinson free throw with 5:52 left in the half.

However, the Catawba Indians chipped away at that lead and a Donzell Williams fast break layup just before the buzzer cut the margin to a solitary point as Newberry took a 33-32 lead into the locker room. Newberry shot 11-of-30 (36.7%) from the floor in the half paced by Young’s 10 points and six assists from Davis.

The Newberry lead was short-lived as Catawba took the lead on the opening possession of the second half. Neither team could pull out to a lead of more than three points until Robinson drained a jumper in the paint at the 11:58 mark to give Newberry a 50-46 lead after four straight defensive stops. Catawba scored the next six points to retake the lead, but another Robinson bucket tied the game at 52-all with 8:43 left in regulation.

Later in the half, it was Newberry that pulled out to a large lead again, this time behind the Aaron Edwards run. The junior scored 11 straight points to pace Newberry on an 18-13 run that gave the scarlet and gray a 68-63 lead with 3:15 to play. Unfortunately for Newberry, Edwards’ three-pointer at the 3:15 mark would be its last field goal of the second half.

Catawba scored the next six points and took a 69-68 lead with just over a minute to play, but Lockhart made one of two free throws with 55 seconds to play to tie the game. Houston missed a three-pointer with 31 seconds left, but Newberry missed two shots in the final seconds to go to overtime. Rutherford blocked a Robinson shot just before the buzzer to force the extra five minutes. Lockhart’s free throw was his only point in regulation, as he was put into the game with 2:20 to play when Davis fouled out.

In the overtime period, Young started things off with a three-pointer to give Newberry the lead, but Catawba surged back to take a five-point lead after a Newberry turnover with 1:54 to play. Robinson made a layup to cut the lead to three, and Newberry forced a turnover on a 10-second half court count to get the ball back. Unfortunately, Robinson turned the ball back over on a traveling call with 41 seconds left.

Just when it seemed that Newberry’s chances may be doomed, the defense forced another turnover and got the ball with just under 10 seconds to play. Barnes answered the call and tied the game at 79-all with a three-pointer from the corner with 4 seconds on the clock. The game-tying triple sent the game to double overtime and proved to be Barnes’ only made field goal of the game.

The double overtime scoring started with two Catawba free throws to give the hosts the lead and the momentum continued to swing back and forth until Newberry grabbed it and refused to let go.  Trailing 83-82 with 2:30 to play, Newberry took off on a 12-2 run by going 4-of-4 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe to give the scarlet and gray a 94-85 lead. The nine-point margin was the largest lead in the game by either team.

Catawba’s Cameron Lovelace made a three-pointer in the final seconds but it was too little too late as Newberry left Goodman Gym victorious for the third straight season. Newberry shot a spectacular 8-of-14 (57.1%) from the field in the two overtime periods and made both of its three-point shots. The victory was Newberry’s first double overtime win in three chances since joining the SAC in 1997-98.

The scarlet and gray wrap up the first trip through the South Atlantic Conference loop in Eleazer Arena on Wednesday at 8 p.m. against league-leading Brevard College.

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