NEWBERRY — Newberry College junior Dondray Walker achieved one of his sport’s premier achievements with his 1,000th career point Sunday, but the No. 20 Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters overshadowed his accomplishment by defeating Newberry 102-87.
Newberry falls to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the South Atlantic Conference entering the Christmas break, while LMU is now 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.
The Wolves will next see the hardwood on Jan. 4 when the travel to Alabama to take on UAB in exhibition play. The regular season resumes on Jan. 8 at Catawba.
Walker now has 1,002 career points after a three-pointer late in the second half. He finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Demarkus Smith led the Wolves with 18 points and six rebounds with two assists and two steals. Mitch Riggs scored 14 points and Xavier Holmes netted 12 points.
The Wolves fell behind early in the contest but came back through the first half thanks to hot outside shooting. Newberry made 5-of-7 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes to take a 41-40 halftime lead.
The Railsplitters flipped the script in the second half, holding Newberry to a low shooting percentage at 34.3 percent (12-of-35) while shooting a ridiculous 76.7 percent (23-of-30) in the half, including an 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) rate from beyond the three-point arc.
LMU made eight of their first nine shots of the half to push the lead into double digits with 15 minutes to go. Newberry was able to cut the deficit to as few as seven points with 11 minutes left, but the ‘Splitters continued to convert on tough shot opportunities.
Laurens native Luquon Choice scored 34 points, including eight three-pointers for LMU. Vincent Bailey and Chance Jones each scored 22 for the Railsplitters.
On Thursday, the Newberry Wolves closed out an undefeated non-conference season with an 87-57 road win over the Barber-Scotia Mighty Sabers at Newsom Gym in Concord, N.C.
Newberry was led by Riggs, who scored 19 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting with four free throws. Walker scored 13 points with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals and Demarkus Smith scored 10 points with three assists.
Newberry shot 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the field and made 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) of its three-point attempts. The charity stripe was kind to the scarlet and gray as well, with Newberry connecting on 79.2 percent (19-of-24) of its free throws. The Wolves held a 47-27 edge on the boards, with 16 offensive rebounds resulting in 12 second chance points.