SALISBURY, N.C. — Brandon Riley scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Newberry Wolves to an 85-77 victory over the Catawba Indians in Goodman Gym on Saturday.
Newberry evens its record at 12-12 overall and 8-8 in the South Atlantic Conference while Catawba is now 8-16 overall and 5-11 in the league. Newberry has two regular season games remaining — at Tusculum on Wednesday and against Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday.
Riley tied a career high with 25 points and his eight rebounds were a season high. Demarkus Smith had a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Mitch Riggs and Aegir Steinarsson each scored 13 points.
Catawba had five players in double figures with Reggie Perkins scoring 16 points, Elon Edwards netting 14, Lee Martin scoring 13, Tyrece Little earning a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double and Vismantas Marijosius scoring 10.
The first half was back-and-forth, with neither team pulling to more than a two possession lead. A layup by Xavier Holmes with 11:14 left in the first half gave Newberry a 22-16 lead. Catawba fought back and retook the lead on an Edwards fastbreak layup with 7:27 to go to make it 25-24 in the hosts’ favor.
Catawba would lead by as many as four but the Wolves had a one-point lead on a three-pointer by Smith with 1:39 to go, but Edwards scored four straight points to close out the half and give the Indians a 46-43 lead at the break.
Catawba shot a sparkling 61.3 percent (19-of-31) in the first half, while Newberry shot 50.0 percent (17-of-34) in the period. Newberry had a 19-14 rebounding advantage.
The Indians hit a three-pointer on the half’s opening possession to push the lead to six points, but treys from Steinarsson and Riley tied the game back up. The teams could not pull away and were still tied at 63-all with 10:31 to play before the Wolves went on a 10-0 run. Smith and Riggs three-pointers helped the rally along.
Catawba cut the lead down to one point at 73-72 with 3:26 left, but Newberry scored the next 11 points to push the lead to 12 points inside the final minute and seal the victory.
Newberry outshot Catawba 42.9 percent (12-of-28) to 37.9 percent (11-of-29) in the second half. The Wolves made 14 free throws in the half, while Catawba made only four.
For the game, Newberry shot 46.8 percent (29-of-62) from the field, 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from three and 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from the charity stripe. The Wolves had a 41-34 rebounding edge.