NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry Wolves men's basketball team shot 52.3% (23-of-44) from the floor and pulled away in the last five minutes of the game for a 73-62 win over visiting Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference action at Eleazer Arena on Saturday evening.
Newberry (10-10, 5-7 SAC) has now won four of its last five games. Ray Robinson (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored 16 points to lead Newberry, while Brunes Charles (Naples, Fla.) scored 12 markers.
Lenoir-Rhyne (2-18, 1-11 SAC) was led by 18 points from Jeff Thomas (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and 17 points from Allan Jones (Clemmons, N.C.), but the Bears still suffered their 12th consecutive defeat since a win over Newberry in December.
The Wolves got off to a quick start with a fastbreak dunk from Charles, a putback by Robinson and another fastbreak dunk by Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla.), but could not ease away from the Bears until later in the half. Newberry led by six with 6:57 left in the half when Antoni Magdos (Knoxville, Tenn.) made a free throw and got his own rebound after missing the second and then scoring a three-pointer on the possession to give Newberry its first double digit lead. Two more Magdos free throws on the next trip down the floor gave Newberry its largest lead of the half at 12 points.
Newberry held that 12-point lead with five minutes to play, but the Bears would close out the half on a 12-1 run to make it a 35-34 Newberry lead at the halftime break. L-R's Jarred Hinton (Wilson, N.C.) hit a running three-pointer at the buzzer to give the guests a lift heading into the locker room. It would go down as the only made three-pointer by L-R against Newberry this season.
Both teams shot for a high percentage in the opening 20 minutes with Lenoir-Rhyne going 11-of-21 (52.4%) from the floor while the Wolves made 12-of-24 (50.0%) of their shots.
Newberry would push back out to a seven-point lead in the first three minutes of the half before the Bears scored seven straight points to tie the game at 45-all with 14:00 to play. Over the next four minutes, Newberry went back ahead by five points, but L-R took its first lead of the game at the 8:05 mark, when a Thomas three-point play made it 56-54 in the Bears' favor to cap a 7-0 run.
The Wolves bit back though, and went on 14-2 rally over a six-minute span to get the lead back into double digits at 68-58 with 2:18 to play. The Bears would make only two more shots in the remainder of the game to give Newberry the victory.
Newberry shot 55.0% (11-of-20) in the second half compared to 50.0% (12-of-24) for Lenoir-Rhyne in the second half. While the Bears made more field goals in the period, Newberry made five three-pointers and L-R made none. Newberry also converted on 11-of-16 free throw opportunities in the half compared to 4-of-7 for the Bears.
Newberry will stay home for a Wednesday night game against the Anderson Trojans. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Eleazer Arena. Anderson won a wild 111-106 meeting in the teams' first game of the season.