GREENVILLE — In a back-and-forth battle inside of Timmons Arena, the Newberry women’s basketball team was ousted from the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament by No. 1-seed Anderson. The Trojans advance to the championship game after topping the Wolves, 73-62.
Anderson (22-8) jumped ahead of Newberry (20-10) early as the Trojans streaked out to an eight-point advantage with 13:10 remaining in the opening period
After Anderson reached an eight-point lead for the second time in the half, the Wolves responded with a 15-5 run, which resulted in Newberry’s first lead of the afternoon. The Wolves run started with a 3-point make by sophomore Zara Pearson and was capped off by a 3-pointer from sophomore Samantha Creed.
The Wolves’ 23-21 lead was short lived as the Trojans not only regained the lead, but pushed out to a multiple possession lead before Newberry sophomore Haylee Lepaio scored on a layup to tie the game at 27-27 with less than five minutes remaining.
Newberry continued to roll as junior Tasia Holdorf scored five-straight points to put the Wolves up 32-27. The half closed out as Anderson’s Alissa Diaz hit a jumper with 1:23 on the clock for the final points of the half.
Carrying a 32-29 lead out of the locker room as the second half began Newberry continued to hold onto the momentum as the Wolves lead reached seven points less than four minutes into the half. The seven point lead, which was highlighted by a steal and a layup by senior Kendra Brown.
Brown’s make, was soon followed by a seesaw battle between the Wolves and Trojans over the next 10 minutes. The back-and-forth action ended in a 50-48 Anderson advantage.
The two-point lead for the Trojans soon reached double-digits as the Anderson women pushed out to an 11-point advantage as time expired. Anderson’s final points of the afternoon came as Lesley Woods hit a free throw to push the advantage 73-62.
The Wolves were lead by Creed’s 21 points, while Lepaio tallied 11 points and posted a team-high eight rebounds. Lepaio also tallied a career high five assists. Newberry’s pair of All-SAC First Team selections made their mark in the Newberry record book after Saturday’s game.
Lepaio’s 11 points give the post 470 points on the season, pushing her to No. 7 in the record book for single season points. Creed also entered the record book in single season scoring as she reached 467 points on the year, good for the ninth best season in school history.