NEWBERRY — Four players in double figures and a decisive 19-5 run spanning the final two periods helped Newberry run away to a 68-52 win over Coker.
While Shelby Britten led the Wolves (12-10, 7-8 SAC) in scoring for the seventh time this season, pouring in 18 points to go along with a game-high seven assists, it was sophomore guard Kelsey McDermott that stole the headlines.
McDermott set a new career high with 15 points, another with six field goals made, another with seven rebounds, and yet another with four steals. She also notched an assist in her 33 minutes of action. She was joined in double figures by Samara Hill (14 points) and Meg Essex (13) as the Wolves saw four players top 10 points each for the fourth time this season.
“Tonight was a great team win for us,” said Head Coach Sean Page. “Hopefully this will get us moving in the right direction to finish the season strong.”
Newberry bookended the game with hot shooting to pull away from the Cobras (8-13, 5-10 SAC). Newberry was 10-for-16 (55.6%) from the field over the opening 10 minutes to build a 10-point advantage. But the Wolves saved their best for last, shooting at a 69.2% clip in the final stanza to snuff out any hopes of a run for the Cobras.
Newberry’s 11-2 run, sparked by an Essex jumper with three minutes gone by in the first period, created separation as Coker was quickly down nine points after an early tie. The Cobras twice cut the lead to five points, including once in the early stages of the third period, before the Wolves pulled away for good.
Consecutive three-point buckets by Hill sparked a 21-5 run that spanned nearly nine-and-a-half minutes of the second half. Newberry’s lead ballooned from a tenuous 37-32 edge to a commanding 58-37 advantage as the Wolves went 9-for-16 from the field while holding the Cobras scoreless on 16 of their 18 possessions during the stretch.
Essex helped the Wolves to a 38-26 edge in the paint, including advantages of 12-4 and 16-8 in the first and fourth periods. She finished the contest with seven rebounds, five blocked shots, two assists and a steal in 24 minutes of action.
Hannah Lepaio tied Essex and McDermott for the team lead in rebounds with seven, followed closely by Courtney Lyons with six. Coker was led by Erin Houser’s 13 points and seven rebounds while reigning AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week Janea Williams chipped in 11 points and six rebounds.