GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — The Newberry Wolves made 15 three-pointers and shot 56.9 percent from the field on the way to a 93-71 South Atlantic Conference win over the Tusculum Pioneers in Pioneer Arena on Wednesday night.
Newberry (13-12 overall, 9-8 SAC) had five players score in double digits and shared the ball well, recording 21 assists on 29 made field goals. The Wolves close out the regular season at home on Saturday, with a 4 p.m. Senior Day tipoff against Lutheran rival Lenoir-Rhyne. Tusculum falls to 6-19 overall and 4-13 in league play.
Mitch Riggs led the Wolves in the scoring category with 16 points and Demarkus Smith had 15 points and two steals.
Brandon Riley had a sparkling effort with 15 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals, while Aegir Steinarsson had 15 points and three steals. Dondray Walker netted 13 points and also grabbed nine rebounds.
Steinarsson made a three-pointer on the opening shot of the game, then the Pioneers responded with a pair of layups to take a 4-3 lead. Riggs made a trey on the next trip down the floor and a three-point play by James Ashby put Newberry up by five. The Wolves would not lose the lead again.
Five minutes into the game, Newberry was up by only four before going on a 7-0 run on a layup by Brunes Charles, two Charles free throws and a Steinarsson three-pointer to make it a 19-8 lead with 13 minutes left in the first half. Another 6-0 run later in the half put Newberry up by 18 at 38-20 on a Smith lay-in with just over seven minutes left.
Tusculum narrowed the deficit to as few as 13 later in the half, and trailed by 14 with just over two minutes left, but a free three and three-pointer by Riley closed out the half’s scoring with the Wolves holding a 49-31 lead.
Newberry shot a fantastic 61.9 percent (16-of-26) from the floor in the first half, with a 52.9percent (9-of-17) three-point shooting rate. The Wolves made 8-of-10 at the charity stripe and had 11 assists on 16 made field goals in the half. Tusculum shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) in the half, but Newberry also had a 16-10 rebounding advantage.
After Newberry pushed the lead out to 21 quickly with the first four points of the half, before the Pioneers narrowed the deficit early in the second half. The hosts got Newberry’s lead down to 13 points with an 8-0 run, but a pair of Riggs free throws after a technical foul and three-pointers from Ashby and Smith put Newberry’s lead right back at 21 with a 62-41 with 14:26 to play.
The teams settled into a back-and-forth rhythm, with back-to-back dunks by Riley and Smith late in the game giving the Wolves their largest lead at 25 points with time running out. The Wolves shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) in the half and made 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) from the land of three.
For the game, Newberry shot 56.9 percent (29-of-51) from the field, made 48.4 percent (15-of-31) of its three pointers and 71.4 percent (20-of-28) of its free throws. The Wolves had a 33-24 rebounding advantage.