Long-range shooting boosts Newberry to 102-89 victory over Tusculum

Long-range shooting boosts Newberry to 102-89 victory over Tusculum

NEWBERRY, S.C. --- Gerald Evans made seven three-pointers and scored a game-high 27 points to lead Newberry College to a 102-89 victory over Tusculum College in a South Atlantic Conference men's basketball game Sunday afternoon at Eleazer Arena.

Five players reached double figures for the Wolves (9-4, 5-3 SAC), who shot an even 50 percent (35-for-70) from the field and connected on 15 three-pointers, while scoring 30 points off 23 Pioneer turnovers. James Stepp added 18 points and Marshall Lange had 13 off the bench for the Wolves in the victory.

Ronnie Baylark led the Pioneers (6-7, 3-5 SAC) with 19 points off the bench, with Kendall Patterson adding 12 on four 3-pointers. Tusculum shot 30-for-63 (47.6 percent) from the field and went 11-for-25 from three-point range, but could only record 12 points off 18 turnovers by the Wolves.

Evans played 25 minutes off the bench for Newberry, shooting 8-for-14 from the field and 7-for-10 from three-point range. He scored 14 points in the first half as the Wolves built a 58-50 halftime lead, and went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the second half to help the SAC's highest-scoring team (99.1 ppg) surpass the 100-point mark for the seventh time this season.

Patterson drilled a three-pointer on the first possession of the game for the Pioneers, but the Wolves rattled off 13 straight points over the next five minutes to go on top 13-3 with 14:30 left in the opening half. Tusculum's bench helped the Pioneers start a comeback, as the inside work of Brandon Dansoh and the guard play of Trey Blevins helped cut the margin to 35-30 with 6:47 left in the first half.

A Dansoh bucket would pull the Pioneers within 40-36 with 4:59 to go in the half, but Evans scored seven points in the next 60 seconds to restore the Wolves' double-digit lead at 47-36 with 3:58 to go in the half. The lead would balloon to as many as 14 points before the Pioneers closed within 58-50 on a layup by Zach Hartle with 21 seconds to go in the half.

Newberry led 58-50 at the half behind 9-for-19 three-point shooting and 51.3 percent overall shooting (20-for-39) in the opening half. Stepp had a game-high 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the first half for Newberry, while Blevins went 5-for-6 from the foul line and paced Tusculum with eight points in the opening half. Tusculum shot 63 percent (17-for-27) from the field and went 6-for-8 from three-point range in the first half, but committed 16 turnovers as a team.

In the second half, Patterson hit a three-pointer to bring the Pioneers within 60-55 in the opening minute, but a 10-0 run over the next 2 1/2 minutes sent the Wolves ahead 70-55 with 16:58 to play. Tusculum came right back with a 9-0 run of its own, sparked by consecutive three-pointers from Baylark and Caleb Hodnett, to cut the deficit to 70-64 with 15:01 to play. However, the Wolves came right back with nine straight points to go on top 79-64 following a Lange three-pointer with 12:38 left.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Evans gave Newberry an 88-73 lead with 8:49 to play, and a DJ Copeland three extended the Newberry advantage to 91-73 with 7:29 left, and Tusculum would get no closer than 12 in the closing minutes in dropping their sixth straight at Eleazer Arena dating to the 2011 SAC Tournament.

Dansoh finished 4-for-4 from the field and ended up with career highs of 10 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. Vincent Brown added a season-best seven points and Blevins added eight as Tusculum's bench combined to score 57 points in the game.

Hartle finished with nine points on 4-for-7 shooting for the Pioneers, while Cory Fagan had nine points and hit two three-pointers to extend his school-record streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 29.

Also reaching double figures for Newberry were Copeland, with 12 points, and Quaman Burton who had 11 points. Copeland also had a team-high seven rebounds for the Wolves, who held a slim 37-33 edge in rebounding over the Pioneers in the game.

Dansoh's seven rebounds were a team high for the Pioneers, while Hodnett had six boards in 14 minutes off the bench. Patterson contributed three steals in 16 minutes of playing time for Tusculum, while Blevins dished out a career-high six assists and played a career-best 29 minutes for the Pioneers.

Tusculum will play its third straight road game when it makes the trek over the mountain on Wednesday night to face Mars Hill. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m.