Newberry, S.C. – Newberry College built a 24-point second half lead and held on for a victory, 73-62, over visiting Brevard College Wednesday night at Eleazer Arena. The Tornados (12-14, 3-12 South Atlantic Conference) have lost all seven of their road SAC games.
Newberry’s Clemente Martin (Freeport, Bahamas) led all scorers with 24 points. Jesse Wheeler (Suwanee, Ga.) added 13 for the scarlet and gray. Newberry (19-7, 9-6 SAC) blocked 11 shots, six of them coming from Kendrick Johnson (Orangeburg, S.C.)
The Tornados were led by Jonathan Whitson (Clyde, N.C.), who scored 20 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. Joseph Chilton (Brasstown, N.C.) scored 11 points and hit his first three three-point field goal attempts, running his consecutive made-three’s streak to nine, a school record.
The visitors scored the first five points of the game, but Newberry came back with a 9-0 run of their own to lead, 9-5, with 15:17 left in the first half.
Newberry’s first seven field goals were three-pointers, the last of which came at the 8:45 mark from Martin to give the home team a 21-11 advantage. A three-point play from the two-time All-SAC performer 22 seconds before the halftime break gave Newberry a 34-20 intermission lead.
The largest Newberry lead came with 13:20 to play. A three-pointer from Grant Domsic (Winter Garden, Fla.) made the score 53-29.
The Tornados battled back with seven straight, capped by a lay-up from Whitson, to make the score 53-36 with 10:51 left. Another 8-0 spurt cut the deficit to 64-56 with 3:12 left. But Brevard would get no closer, as Newberry won their regular season home finale by 11.
“I thought, aside from two different five-minute stretches, that we played pretty well,” Brevard coach Michael Jones said after the game. “There was one spurt in the first half and another in the second where we didn’t handle their defensive trap very well.”
“Our guys are still very hungry, though,” Jones added. “With a little confidence, we feel like we can do some damage on Saturday and, if we get there, in the SAC Tournament.”
Brevard is still tied with Carson-Newman for the eighth and final spot in the upcoming 2009 Food Lion SAC Tournament. The Tornados close their regular season Saturday with a 4 p.m. game against Catawba.
Newberry finishes the regular season Saturday against Lincoln Memorial, an 8 p.m. match-up.