HARROGATE, TN -- The 16th-ranked Railsplitters fell victim to the shooting barrage of the Newberry College Wolves on Saturday night, dropping a 113-98 decision in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action in Tex Turner Arena. With the loss, Lincoln Memorial University (16-4, 9-3) was defeated for their second time in three games, while Newberry (10-10, 6-6 SAC) earned their first win in Tex Turner Arena since February 28, 2009.
The Railsplitters capped the game with a 48.7% mark from the field, however, Newberry eclipsed that figure with a 50.0% effort on the night. The Wolves also made good on 16 of their 34 three-point attempts for a 47.1% clip in that department.
After trading two-point possessions to open the game, the Railsplitters used a 5-0 run on the wings of a three-pointer by Cam Carden and a jumper by Jake Troyli to jump out on top 7-2 at the 17:58 mark of the period. Over the next 2:30 of game time, the Wolves flipped the script with a 7-2 run, capped with a Mitch Riggs' three-pointer to square the game at 9-9. Newberry's Demarkus Smith and LMU's Dustin Craig offset the other's three-point play in back-to-back possessions to keep the game tied at 12-12 with 14:26 on the clock.
The ensuing 7:46 saw the Wolves catch fire from the field, as they drained eight threes over that stretch and limited the Railsplitters to only seven points en route to driving out to a commanding 43-21 advantage with 7:00 still left to play in the frame. With a layup by Brunes Charles at the 5:35 mark, Newberry pushed their lead to 46-23, the largest of the half. The Railsplitters were unable to cut the deficit to less than 18 over the final five minutes of the period, as they went to the half facing a 59-40 hole.
Cam Carden opened the second half by draining another three-point to cut into the Wolves' lead, making it 59-43. However, the Wolves used a 5-0 individual run by Brandon Riley later in the period to extend their lead to 70-45 with only 16:14 left in regulation. Newberry was able to hold the Railsplitters at bay over the ensuing 6:50, as LMU never trailed by less than 14 points over that span. Mitch Riggs drained a three-pointer at the 9:24 mark to make it 90-68 in favor of the Wolves.
In a flash, the Railsplitters closed the gap, as they implemented a 13-0 run paced by the furious attack of Chance Jones and Tristan Hicks to cut the deficit to single digits at 90-81 with 7:45 to play. The Wolves concluded that run with a three-pointer by Mitch Riggs to extend the lead back to double-digits in the next possession. From that point, the Railsplitters closed the gap once again with a 7-0 run on a three-point play by Jake Troyli and four points from Tristan Hicks to make it 93-88 in favor of the Wolves with 5:40 to play.
Despite cutting the game to only a five-point deficit, the Railsplitters were iced over the final 5:27 at the free throw line, as the Wolves went a perfect 16-for-16 from the charity stripe over that stretch to run away with a 113-98 victory in Tex Turner Arena. The Railsplitters were limited to only three field goals over that same stretch of basketball.
Lincoln Memorial saw five players cross the double-digit scoring plateau, headlined by Cam Carden's 19-point effort on 5-11 shooting from long range. Carden also reigned in six rebounds. Lorenza Ross poured in 16 points to go along with five assists and three boards, while Chance Jones sparked the Railsplitters off the bench with 13 points and three boards. The front court duo of Vincent Bailey and Jake Troyli combined for 26 points with Troyli leading that pair with 14 points and eight rebounds. Bailey notched 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds to help LMU narrowly out-rebound the Wolves, 44-39. Wally Jones and Dustin Craig added eight apiece, while Tristan Hicks was a factor down the stretch with six points.
The Wolves also put five players in double figures, spearheaded by the game-high effort of Brandon Riley, as he poured in 25 points marked by a 13-for-16 effor from the free throw line. Along with Riley, Demarkus Smith helped push the Wolves to a 42-29 advantage on bench scoring output with 12 points for the second unit. Mitch Riggs chimed in with 20 points on 6-10 shooting from the three, while Aegir Steinarsson and Brunes Charles added 19 and 17 respectively.
The Railsplitters are primed to hit the road for two South Atlantic Conference contests away from the friendly confines of Tex Turner Arena in the upcoming week. The week kicks off on February 13th in Brevard, North Carolina, as LMU is poised to take on the Brevard College Tornados at 6 pm before hitting the road to Anderson, South Carolina for a re-match with the Trojans. That game tips at 4 pm on Saturday afternoon.