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Barnes scored 18 in the loss
Barnes scored 18 in the loss

Newberry's furious comeback effort falls short in 98-84 loss at Brevard

Barnes' 18 points leads five NC players in double figures

Box Score

BREVARD, N.C. - The Newberry College men's basketball team displayed a fighting spirit after falling behind, but ultimately could not mount a sufficient comeback as they fell to Brevard, 98-84, in South Atlantic Conference action.

Newberry (9-17 overall, 4-11 SAC) had five players in double figures, led by 18 points from Ryan Barnes (Oviedo, Fla.). Ray Robinson (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Aaron Edwards (Anchorage, Alaska) scored 13 points. Coleman Young (Spartanburg, S.C.) netted 12 points and Stephane Bakinde (Yaounde, Cameroon) scored 11 points to round out double digit scorers.

Brevard (18-8, 10-5 SAC) was paced by a 32-point, 12-rebound double-double form Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C.). Josh Roper (Charlotte, N.C.) scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists for the Tornados. Sam Carlisle (Raleigh, N.C.) had 18 points and Nathan Whitmire (Rosman, N.C.) scored 15 points to round out Brevard's double digit scorers.

Newberry jumped out to an early lead and led 7-6 with 16:52 left in the first half before Brevard took off on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to take an eight point lead with just under 13 minutes left in the opening period. Newberry scored the next five points to cut the lead to three and eventually narrowed the deficit to two points on a Young three-pointer with 8:09 left in the half to make it 23-21.

The Tornados scored five straight points to go to a seven-point lead and a late eight-point run by the hosts push BC's lead to 15 points just before halftime. However, Barnes nailed a long-distance three-pointer to make it a 45-33 lead at the halftime break.

Brevard scored 14 points off of 10 Newberry turnovers in the first half and was a sparkling 15-of-20 from the free-throw line. Newberry was 11-of-29 (37.9%) from the field, while the Tornados were 14-of-27 (51.9%) from the floor.

Brevard came out of the locker room on fire and quickly made the deficit even harder to overcome, outscoring Newberry 15-2 in the first six minutes of the game to extend the lead to 60-35. The Tornados extended that lead to as many as 27, as the game appeared to spiral out of control for Newberry. But head coach Steve DeMeo's squad never gave up and seemed even more fired up following his ejection with 6:17 to play after a pair of technical fouls.

Down by 20 points after the free throws from the technicals, Newberry put on the defensive pressure. That forced BC turnovers and Barnes was able to score eight straight points at one juncture, cutting the lead to 13 points. A layup by Jeremee Davis (Albany, Ga.) cut the lead to 11 points with 3:17 left, but the Newberry shots stopped falling and the scarlet and gray could get no closer. Newberry scored 20 points off of turnovers in the second half, but could not pull off the comeback.

For the game, Newberry was 27-of-71 (38.0%) from the field and 12-of-34 (35.3%) from three-point range, while connecting on 18-of-23 (78.3%) of its free-throw chances. Brevard made the same number of field goals and fewer three-pointers, but a massive advantage at the free-throw line proved to be the ultimate difference in the game. The Tornados were 27-of49 (55.1%) from the floor and 4-of-10 (40.0%) from three-point range, and connected on a staggering 40-of-51 (78.4%) free throw chances.

Newberry has one regular season game remaining and one chance to qualify for the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament, although the scarlet and gray need help. Based on Lenoir-Rhyne's win over Wingate on Wednesday night, Newberry must defeat Lincoln Memorial and have Mars Hill beat L-R on Saturday to qualify as the eighth seed.

That all-important showdown with Lincoln Memorial will take place in Eleazer Arena on Saturday at 4 p.m.

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