BREVARD, N.C. — An impressive performance by Haylee Lepaio and an all-around strong showing from Samantha Creed led the Wolves to a 65-55 victory over the Brevard Tornados, as Creed scored 18 points and Lepaio posted a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds on Wednesday night.
Newberry (13-4, 5-2 SAC) controlled the game from the opening tip, as Lepaio hit a jumper in the opening 20 seconds of the ballgame. Creed followed up her teammates jumper with one of her own, before the Tornados (4-11, 2-5 SAC) hit their first shot of the evening.
Already on the stat sheet with an assist in the opening three minutes, junior Ellie Gleeson answered Brevard’s make with a layup of her own, before the Wolves lead quickly jumped to a 17-4 advantage.
Brevard slowly crawled back into the game, pulling within three with a little over three minutes to go in the first period, but Newberry rode a pair of made free throws from Creed with one second on the clock to head to halftime with a 35-28 advantage.
The first half saw Lepaio dominate the boards, as her seven rebounds in the first half helped carry the Wolves to 22 rebounds in the opening period. Lepaio also led the Wolves at half with 12 points. Creed recorded four assists, rebounds and points in the first half, while Gleeson and fellow junior Tasia Holdorf each netted six points in the period.
The second half started nearly the same as the first half, as Lepaio opened the scoring for the Wolves. After a quick three-point swing by Brevard, Creed hit a jumper to put the Wolves ahead 39-33 five minutes into the second half.
Newberry’s lead continued to grow as a 3-pointer from sophomore Zara Pearson with 13:48 on the clock, saw Newberry’s lead reach 13 points. The 13-point advantage was the Wolves’ largest of the game.
Brevard cut the Newberry lead to nine, but Newberry resisted Brevard’s attempts at a comeback and carried a 10-point advantage to the final buzzer after Pearson hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds on the clock.
Gleeson wrapped up the game for the Wolves when she snagged a defensive rebound with 23 seconds remaining, allowing the Wolves to let the clock expire.
Creed led Newberry with 18 points, while also tallying five assists and seven rebounds. Lepaio completed her eighth double-double of the season as she finished the night with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Pearson led Newberry in assists with six and added nine points of her own on the night.
Newberry outrebounded Brevard 46-24 and also won in the assist column 17-8.
The Wolves return home on Saturday for a 6 p.m. showdown against Tusculum.