FLORENCE — Despite the 15th double-double of sophomore Haylee Lepaio’s career, the Newberry women’s basketball team was unable to keep up with a fast-paced and very physical Francis Marion Patriots as FMU picked up a 67-58 victory over the Wolves.
Newberry (3-1) led for much of the first half, after surrendering the opening basket to Francis Marion (3-0). The Wolves took a 5-2 lead less than two minutes into the game on a jumper from Lepaio (Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia) and did not trail for the next three minutes.
After Francis Marion regained the lead with 14:25 remaining in the opening half, Newberry took it right back with 13:51 on the clock as junior Tasia Holdorf (Anchorage, Alaska) hit a 3-pointer to put the Wolves ahead 11-10. The Wolves extended their lead to three points on a couple occasions, before relinquishing the lead.
With only five minutes remaining in the opening half, another jumper from Lepaio gave the Wolves a lead that they would carry into halftime. During the final five minute run, a pair of made free throws from junior Ellie Gleeson (Albury, New South Wales, Australia) gave Newberry a five-point lead, it’s largest of the game.
Lepaio finished the opening half with a double-double, recording 16 points and 11 rebounds in just 16 minutes of play. Both Gleeson and sophomore Samantha Creed (Montmorency, Victoria, Australia) finished the first half with three rebounds and four assists.
The second half saw the Patriots up the pressure on the defensive end and only a minute into the second half took the lead from the Wolves and never looked back. The Patriots extended their second half lead to as many as 11 points before the game ended with Francis Marion ahead by nine points after Newberry junior Devanee Taylor (Chester, Va.) hit a jumper with 15 second left in the game.
Lepaio finished the game with 21 points, 14 rebounds and two assists. Creed posted a 15 point and five assist performance, while Gleeson’s nine assists surpassed her previous career best.
The Wolves out rebounded the Patriots 34-27, while the Patriots held the advantage in points in the paint and points off turnovers 32-28 and 34-8, respectively.