NEWBERRY – The Wolves (2-0) hit big shot after big shot down the stretch, topping the No. 7 ranked Saints (1-1) by a final of 62-56 on Saturday night at Eleazer Arena.
Leading by two with just over one minute remaining, Samara Hill drilled a three pointer to put the Wolves up five. After Limestone’s Jasmine Kearse hit a jumper to cut the lead to three, Nicola Handreck stretched the lead with a three of her own and put Newberry up six with 30 seconds to play. Handreck and Hill combined to score the last 13 points for the Wolves.
Handreck finished the evening with a double-double recording 16 points and 10 boards. Four of the Newberry starters finished the game in double figures. Shelby Britten added 12 points and seven assists including a stretch early in the fourth quarter where she was the helper on six straight Newberry points. Hill finished with 11 points and Jaya Schultz chipped in 10 of her own.
Newberry’s early free throw struggles kept them from expanding their lead, finishing 54.5% from the line on the night and just 33.3% in the first half. The Wolves’ defense held strong for the second night in a row holding the Saints to 30 percent shooting and zero of 10 from behind the arch in the second half.
Jasmine Kearse, the 2016-17 Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Player of the Year, was the only Saints player to finish in double figures recording 22 points on just 9 of 26 shooting.
Newberry will host Armstrong State on Nov. 16 at Eleazer Arena. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m.
On Friday afternoon at home, the Lady Wolves pulled away from the Belmont Abbey Crusaders (0-1) in the second half en route to a 26-point win in a 69-43 final at Eleazer Arena.
The Wolves failed to get on the board until two Samara Hill free throws gave Newberry their first points at the 5:42 mark of the 1st quarter. Despite their 30.8 percent shooting from the field in the first half, Newberry held a six-point lead heading into halftime thanks to their defense holding the Crusaders to 25 percent from the field.
Morgan Midkiff lead the way for the Crusaders putting up 14 points in the contest, including 11 of the first 13 points for Belmont Abbey.
Newberry’s 57.1 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point land powered their second half as they continued to stretch the lead. Preseason first team all-conference player Meg Essex was a big factor in the second half for Newberry going five of six from the field, tallying 12 points and five rebounds in the half. The sophomore finished the game with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore guard Shelby Britten added 17 points for the Wolves on five of 11 shooting and three of six from deep. Junior guard Samara Hill chipped in 11 points for Newberry.
Belmont Abbey did not hit a three-point shot in the second half as the Wolves’ defense held the Crusaders to just 26.9 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.
This release was provided by Newberry College.