WINGATE, N.C. — It took an early come from behind run for the Newberry women’s basketball team, before the Wolves outpaced the Falcons of Montevallo for a 62-46 victory in the Wolves’ final game of the OrthoCarolina Classic at Wingate, N.C., led by sophomore Haylee Lepaio’s 23-point performance.
Montevallo (0-2) opened the game on a 10-2 run before Newberry (2-0) began to cut into the Falcons lead. The Falcons extended their lead to as many as nine points with just under 13 minutes remaining in the opening half. A strong defensive performance turned into points for the Wolves as Newberry began to chip away at Montevallo before taking a lead for the first time in the game at just under the two minute mark.
The Wolves lead was gained when sophomore Zara Pearson (Echuca, Victoria, Australia) hit a 3-pointer for the Wolves. Newberry extended its lead to three points at 34-31, inside 30 seconds on a pair of made free throws by Lepaio (Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia).
Newberry controlled the second half jumping out to an early nine-point lead on a 3-pointer from redshirt freshman Samantha Creed (Montmorency, Victoria, Australia). Montevallo began to cut into the Newberry lead, until Pearson hit again from beyond the arc to put Newberry ahead 45-35 with 13 minutes remaining.
Defense proved a strong point for the Wolves in the second half, as the offense responded to defensive stops with Newberry points pushing the Wolves lead to as many as 19 points. Three late points from Montevallo cut the final score down to a 16-point difference as Newberry earned a 62-46 victory.
Lepaio led the Wolves with 23 points and eight rebounds, while senior Kendra Brown (Swansea) had herself a 14 point game. In addition to Brown’s point input, the guard added four assists and two steals to her line. Creed added eight points and Pearson posted a seven point performance in the win.
Both Creed and Lepaio were named to the OrthoCarolina Classic All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the two-day tournament.
While not visible on the stat sheet, freshman Kirsten Dunsmore (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) provided a spark off the bench and disrupted the Falcons offense on multiple occasions with tipped passes. In addition to her defensive efforts, Dunsmore recorded five rebounds and scored her first collegiate points when she banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the second half.
Newberry and Montevallo both finished the game with 36 rebounds, while the Wolves bested the Falcons in the assist column 16-8. The Wolves outworked the Falcons on the defensive boards, pulling down an advantage of 28-23. Newberry took advantage of Montevallo’s 19 turnovers to the tune of 14 points off the turnover.
The Wolves return to action on Tuesday when Newberry travels to Greenwood for a 7 p.m. meeting with the No. 20 Lander Bearcats.
Creed drops 28 in debut as Wolves top Lady Braves 64-58
WINGATE, N.C. — After using her true freshman season as a redshirt season, Newberry’s Creed took to the court for the first time in her career and recorded an outstanding debut performance as she scored 28 points and added four assists and four rebounds in the Wolves 64-58 season opening victory over the UNC Pembroke Lady Braves at the OrthoCarolina Classic played at Cuddy Arena.
Creed helped get things started for the Wolves (1-0) when she recorded a steal and an assist as senior Brown scored Newberry’s first points of the season. The Wolves and Lady Braves (0-1) exchanged baskets for the opening ten minutes of the game, before a layup and free throw make from Creed set the Wolves on a 10-point run.
A redshirt freshman, Creed followed the three-point play with a traditional 3-point make, before the Wolves saw baskets scored by sophomores Pearson and Lepaio to put Newberry up 21-11.
UNC Pembroke cut into the Newberry lead, before the Wolves took off again when junior Ellie Gleeson (Albury, New South Wales, Australia) hit from beyond the arc. Pearson soon matched Gleeson’s 3-point make and put the Wolves up by 13. After leading by 13 for the second time, the Wolves saw the Lady Braves hit late in the half which sent the Wolves to the locker room with a 31-20 halftime lead.
Newberry opened the second half strong, seeing its lead reach a 12-point discrepancy with a little over six minutes to go when junior Tasia Holdorf (Anchorage, Alaska) make a 3-pointer of her own.
UNC Pembroke answered with a 10-point run of its own, cutting the Wolves lead down to two. Newberry showed an early season ability to hold a late lead, when Newberry extended its lead to eight points, before escaping with a six-point victory over the Lady Braves.
Creed’s debut saw her hit six times from beyond the arc, while recording 28 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals. Lepaio added ten points, while pulling down eight rebounds.