MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team (4-4, 2-0 SAC) defeated Newberry (4-2, 1-1 SAC) by a score of 80-70 in their 2019 South Atlantic Conference home opener Saturday afternoon.
Ja'Shawn Brooks paced the hot Lions' offense in the opening 3:30 of the contest, hitting his first three three-pointers, leading Mars Hill to an 11-2 advantage. The Lions held an eight-point advantage until a three-pointer from Marcus Ford cut the lead down to five. Mars Hill responded with a 9-2 run to go up 32-20 with 5:39 left in the half. The Lions closed out the half with a 42-28 lead.
Mars Hill hit 52 percent of their shots from the floor while also hitting 54 percent of their three-point attempts, going seven-of-13 from beyond the arc. Austin Gilyard led the Lions with 10 points in the half followed by Brooks' nine.
The Lions held a 21-point advantage with 14:41 remaining before the Wolves began to claw their way back into the contest. An 8-3 run pulled Newberry within 16 points and with 1:50 left, cut the deficit to 12 points. The large Mars Hill lead held up, despite being outscored 42-38 in the second half, as the Lions came away with their second straight conference win.
Angelo Sales, Jr. led all players with 11 points in the half followed by Brooks' 10. Both players led their respective teams with Brooks leading all players, recording 19 points, going six-of-seven from the floor and hitting all four free throw attempts. Gilyard ended the night with 18 points while Matthew Powell recorded 10 on the night.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, December 7 when they travel to Hartsville, South Carolina to face Coker. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.