NEWBERRY — The Newberry College Wolves evened their season and South Atlantic Conference records in Eleazer Arena on Saturday night as they defeated the Tusculum Pioneers 82-63 to pick up a third straight win.
With the victory, Newberry is now 8-8 overall and 4-0 in SAC play, while Tusculum falls to 4-12 overall and 2-6 in the league. The Wolves are on the road for the next two games, playing at Mars Hill on Wednesday and at Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday.
Demarkus Smith once again led the Wolves, putting up 19 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. He was 4-for-4 from three-point land, including a buzzer-beater to end the first half and a trey on the opening possession of the second half which extended the Wolves’ lead into double digits.
Brunes Charles scored 13 points and had five rebounds while Brandon Riley had 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals and Dondray Walker had 10 points, four rebounds and four steals.
Tusculum was led by 16 points and seven rebounds from Keith Jumper, 14 points from Darius Carter and 13 points from Addison Flynn.
The Pioneers had the early advantage in the game, pushing their way out to a 13-6 lead on Carter’s three-point play at the 15:16 mark of the opening half. The Wolves clawed away at their guests and tied the game up for the first time at the 11:35 mark of the half when Riley’s layup made it an 18-all game. A Walker jumper just under a minute later gave Newberry its first lead of the game.
From a 28-all tie with 6:05 to play, the Wolves rushed out to lead by seven points, when Smith stole the ball and passed ahead to Byron Dickerson for a fastbreak dunk to make it 39-32 with 2:46 left in the period. The Wolves looked as if they would carry a five-point lead into the halftime break, but a rebound out of bounds went their way and Quayshun Hawkins found Smith in the corner and the sophomore nailed a contested triple to make it a 43-35 Wolves advantage at the break.
Smith hit a three-pointer on the opening possession of the second half to give Newberry its first double digit lead of the game at 46-35 and when Aegir Steinarsson made a three with just under 16 minutes to play to make it a 53-41 lead, Newberry’s lead would not drop into single digits for the rest of the night.
A Steinarsson triple with 6:05 left made it a 73-53 ballgame to give the Wolves their first 20-point lead of the game, and the hosts would lead by as many as 21 points as they cruised to the win.