ANDERSON — Another double-double performance by sophomore Haylee Lepaio was not enough for the Newberry women’s basketball team as the Wolves fell in their first road conference game of the season 57-51 at Anderson University.
Anderson (8-5, 2-1 SAC) controlled the game on the defensive end forcing 18 Newberry (10-3, 2-1 SAC) turnovers on the evening. The defensive pressure started early as the Trojans clicked on the offensive end as well jumping out to an early 12-6 lead over the Wolves.
Newberry countered the Anderson pressure, by pushing the ball into the post, where Lepaio made her presence felt with nine first half points. After Lepaio scored four points on two possessions, the Wolves took their first lead of the game with 10:22 remaining in the opening half as junior Tasia Holdorf hit a 3-pointer to give Newberry a 19-17 lead.
Newberry extended its lead to four points, before Anderson regained control of the game and rode a lead into the locker rooms at halftime. The Wolves final points of the opening half came with 55 seconds remaining as Lepaio hit a jumper to cut the Anderson lead to two. The Trojans took advantage of a late foul and a made free throw to send the Wolves to the locker room with a three point deficit.
The second period started with a quick Newberry score as sophomore Zara Pearson hit a three pointer from the top of the arc. After the two teams exchanged baskets, Pearson again hit from beyond the arc as her jumper fell from the corner to give the Wolves a 34-33 lead.
Anderson quickly regained the lead, and held on until with 9:19 remaining the Wolves took their final lead of the game. An Anderson free throw cut the Wolves lead to one, before the Trojans once again claimed the lead and escaped the Abney Athletic Center with a six-point victory over the Wolves.
Lepaio led the Wolves with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Samantha Creed added 10 points. Senior Kendra Brown finished the evening with three steals. Junior Ellie Gleeson walked away from Anderson with a five assist performance.
Newberry continues its short road stretch on Saturday with a 2 p.m. visit to Carson-Newman.