WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Newberry Wolves were able to hang with the Purdue Boilermakers for most of the first half, but the hosts from the Big Ten Conference pulled away as the game went on, taking a 109-68 decision in front of a crowd of 13,347 at Mackey Arena on Saturday night.
Newberry’s Dondray Walker (Fountain Inn) led all scorers in the game with 19 points, while Gilbert McGregor (New Orleans, La.) scored 12 points. Mitch Riggs (Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia) and Brandon Riley (Baltimore, Md.) tied for the team lead with three assists each, while Xavier Holmes (Great Falls) had a team high five rebounds.
Terone Johnson had 18 points to lead four Boilermakers in double figures. Purdue hosted the reunion game, as PU head coach Matt Painter assisted Newberry head coach Dave Davis at Barton College in 1994-95.
Newberry was held to 35.3 percent (24-of-68) shooting, but connected on 10 three-pointers with Walker hitting four triples and James Ashby (Auckland, New Zealand) nailing two long distance shots.
There were five ties and six lead changes in the early stages of the first half. A Walker three-pointer gave Newberry a 10-9 lead at the first media timeout and the Wolves trailed only 16-14 with 12 minutes left in the opening half. Brandon Taylor (Coshocton, Ohio) hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 18-17 with 11:27 to go in the half, and the Boilermakers’ lead was only at 25-22 with 7:35 left in the half after a McGregor putback.
Riley’s layup with five minutes left had Newberry down by only 34-29, but Purdue’s five point run made it a double-digit deficit by the final media timeout of the half. Walker hit a jumper inside the final minute of the half to cut the margin to nine, but the Boilermakers held a 44-33 lead at the half.
Purdue shut the door on a Newberry comeback early, scoring five points in the opening minute to go up 16, but the Wolves chipped away and Ashby’s triple at the 16:41 mark brought the lead back down to 13 points at 55-42. A Walker steal and breakaway dunk was an offensive highlight, but Purdue’s 11-0 run in the middle of the half to extend the lead to 76-47 ensured the Wolves would not upset the Division I squad.
Newberry continued to battle, but Purdue’s 54.8% (40-of-73) shooting on the night and 58 points in the paint kept the hosts far ahead in the late stages.
The Wolves will hope to improve on their free throw shooting after making 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) at the charity stripe - an identical count to their chances from the land of three.
Newberry will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9, hosting North Georgia, Salem International and Warren Wilson in the second annual Mom Reeves Memorial Tournament in Eleazer Arena. North Georgia and Salem International will play at 5 p.m. Friday, with the Wolves and Owls to follow. The consolation game will take place at noon Saturday, with the championship game at 2 p.m.