NEWBERRY — The Newberry Wolves kicked off the 2013 calendar year with a comprehensive 113-72 win over Mars Hill in Eleazer Arena on Saturday evening. Newberry had seven players score in double digits on the way to the school’s largest margin of victory in a South Atlantic Conference game.
Newberry evens its record at 5-5 overall and 1-1 in SAC play, while Mars Hill falls to 3-7 overall and 0-2 in the league. Newberry hits the road for two games next week - at Anderson on Wednesday night and at Carson-Newman on Saturday afternoon.
Brandon Riley (Baltimore, Md.) and Mitch Riggs (Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia) each scored a team high 17 points, with Riley grabbing six rebounds. James Ashby (Auckland, New Zealand) scored a career-high 16 points.
Dondray Walker (Fountain Inn) netted 13 points with six rebounds and Xavier Holmes (Great Falls) had his second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds as well as three blocked shots. Brunes Charles (Naples, Fla.) had 10 points with five rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Demarkus Smith (Johnston) rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Mars Hill was led by Khouriachi Thiam’s 13 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, while Kevin Haynes had 18 points. Jalen Witherspoon had 15 points and Myles Tate scored 12 points.
Newberry controlled the game from start to finish, never falling behind the Lions at any point in the contest. A Quayshun Hawkins (Columbia) three-pointer just over three minutes into the game put the Wolves ahead 10-2 and the closest the Lions could get within the first half was a six-point deficit.
The Wolves shot 47.1 percent (16-of-34) in the first half with 4-of-10 (40.0 percent) of their three-pointers finding the net on the way to a 44-35 halftime lead. Charles had eight points at the half, with five other Wolves notching five points each in the half. Mars Hill shot 38.2 percent (13-of-34) in the half and was 0-of-9 from behind the arc.
Newberry was simply dominant in the second half, quickly pushing the lead to 18 points on a Riggs fastbreak three-pointer and a Riley dunk gave Newberry its first 20-point advantage at 60-40 with 16:26 left in the game. The Wolves consistently pulled away throughout the half thanks to a blistering 66.7 v (24-of-36) shooting percentage and a plus-17 (31-14) rebounding advantage. Newberry made 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) of its three-point attempts and held Mars Hill to a 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) three-pointer clip and a 13-of-34 (38.2 percent) field goal percentage.
For the game, Newberry shot 57.1 percent (40-of-70) from the field and 13-of-26 (50.0 percent) from behind the arc. The Wolves had a 56-37 rebounding edge, marking the highest rebound totals in the three seasons under head coach Dave Davis, with eight Wolves snagging at least five boards. Newberry’s 39 defensive rebounds outdistanced Mars Hill’s 37 totals.
The Wolves dished out 25 assists, led by six from Aegir Steinarsson (Reykjavik, Iceland), who also had five points, five rebounds and three steals.