DAHLONEGA, Ga. - The Newberry Wolves met up with the Saints of North Georgia with revenge for a loss on their minds, but the hosts had the hot hand in the second half to defeat Newberry 91-85 in Memorial Hall on Wednesday evening.
Newberry is now 1-2 on the year entering Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Barber-Scotia in the Newberry Classic. The alumni of the record-breaking 1973-77 squads will be honored prior to tipoff. North Georgia moves to 3-0 on the year.
Newberry was led by Quayshun Hawkins (Columbia) with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Xavier Holmes (Great Falls) scored 21 points. Demarkus Smith (Johnston) scored 12 points and Brunes Charles (Naples, Fla.) scored 11.
The Wolves shot 46.9 percent (30-of-64) in the game with 11 three-pointers, while North Georgia was 47.3 percent (35-of-74) from the field with 13 triples.
The Saints got out to an 8-2 lead in the opening three minutes, but the Wolves battled back to take the lead on a Mitch Riggs (Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia) three-pointer, with a James Ashby (Auckland, New Zealand) triple on the next Newberry possession giving the Wolves a 12-10 lead.
Ishmael Hollis hit a triple at the 10:35 mark to put North Georgia back on top, and the Saints pushed the lead to five points before a 7-0 Newberry run capped by two Smith free throws switched the lead back in Newberry’s favor at 30-28 with 4:34 to go in the half.
The see-saw battle would go back and forth, with Hawkins’ triple at the 1:44 mark giving Newberry a 40-39 lead, but Lamar Richardson responded with his own three just 12 seconds later. A Hawkins free throw would make it a 42-41 game in North Georgia’s favor at the half.
The half saw five ties and 10 lead changes - a far cry from Saturday’s game which saw the Saints up in double figures in most of the half. Newberry shot 48.3 percent (14-of-29) in the half with six three pointers, while North Georgia was 14-of-26 (38.9 percent) in the half with eight triples.
The Wolves regained the lead just 10 seconds into the second half on a Dondray Walker (Fountain Inn) layup, but Travis Core grabbed the lead back on the next trip. A Hawkins three tied the game at 46-all before North Georgia went on a crucial 8-0 run.
A Scott Windom three at 14:22 put NGCSU up 59-50 and Corey Green’s layup at 10:21 made a 12-point lead at 71-59 for the largest lead of the game.
A Holmes layup followed by a Charles dunk and layup quickly got the deficit down to six points with eight and a half minutes to go, and a Holmes layup with 6:07 to play cut the Saints’ lead to 74-71, but Newberry was unable to cut the lead to fewer than three points the rest of the way.
North Georgia was 21-of-28 (55.3%) from the field in the half, while Newberry was 45.7 percent (16-of-25) from the field in the period.