NEWBERRY — Junior Samara Hill had 22 points and seven boards powering Newberry (3-0) to a 67-64 win vs. Armstrong State (0-3) at Eleazer Arena on Wednesday evening.
The guard from Frankston, Australia went a perfect eight of eight from the free throw line as the Wolves went without a single miss from the foul stripe ending the night 19 of 19 to the Pirates 13 of 17. All 17 of the Pirates’ free throws came in the second half.
“I thought we really played well in parts, but we were really passive in the second half offensively,” said Sean Page who enters his ninth season as the Newberry head coach. “We couldn’t make a layup and couldn’t hit a shot, but fortunately we shot the ball really well from the foul line. Have to give the Pirates credit for plugging away, but it’s a really good team win for us.”
The Wolves held a 14-point lead at the break but the Pirates 48.3 percent shooting from the field in the third and fourth periods kept them within reach of Newberry. Armstrong State’s defense forced Newberry to shoot 26.7 percent from the field and 0 of 8 from the arch in the final 20 minutes.
Sophomore Meg Essex used her size to her advantage grabbing eight boards and posting 17 points. Junior guard Nicola Handreck dished out six assists for the Wolves and added 10 points of her own to put three or more Newberry starters in double figures for the third straight game.
The Pirates got to within six with under five minutes to play in the game, but the hot free throw shooting continued as Newberry ended the game with eight straight points from the stripe. Brigitta Barta and Mercedes Jenkins tallied 16 points apiece.
Newberry will hit the road next week to take on Queens for their first South Atlantic Conference matchup of the year. The Wolves swept the Royals 2-0 in the season series last year. Tip off on Tuesday Nov. 22 is slated for 6 p.m.
This release was provided by Newberry College.