Railsplitters grind out team win at Newberry, 91-85

Published 6:56 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

NEWBERRY, S.C. — Five Lincoln Memorial players scored in double figures as the Railsplitters outlasted the Newberry Wolves for a 91-85 South Atlantic Conference victory at Eleazer Arena on Saturday evening.

Lincoln Memorial (18-6, 12-4 SAC) shot 46 percent from the field, buried 12 three-pointers and limited Newberry (9-15, 4-12 SAC) to 35 percent shooting, including a dismal 9-for-41 mark from three. But the Wolves were able to keep pace thanks to a virtuoso 33-point performance from Angelo Sales Jr., some timely shooting and 26 made free throws.

“That was a great job tonight by our players battling for the entire 40 minutes,” LMU head coach Josh Schertz said. ” I thought our guys played with great energy, effort and togetherness against a really good team in a tough environment.

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“We didn’t do a lot of things as well as we would have liked but our fight never wavered and we made a number of big plays on both ends down the stretch. It’s a really, really good team win for us.”

The Railsplitters’ quintet of double-digit scorers combined for 81 of the team’s 91 points. Cameron Henry led that group with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Courvoisier McCauley scored 17 points in 23 minutes off the bench, while Alex Dahling recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Brown also finished with 16 points and three assists.

Sales Jr. went 11-for-16 from the field and 11-for-16 at the free-throw line to lead the Wolves with a game-high 33 points. He also paced Newberry with 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. Tai Giger and Omari Wilson were the only other Newberry players to register more than seven points with 12 apiece.

Dahling and the Railsplitters started red hot. Lincoln Memorial hit its first five three-point tries, with three coming from the sophomore sharpshooter, to race out to a 15-6 lead by the 16-minute mark of the first half.

Lincoln Memorial’s shooting cooled down after that as Newberry responded with a 7-0 run, capped by a bucket by Sales Jr., to close the gap to 15-13 by the 13:42 mark.

The Railsplitters dominated the next stretch, using four points from McCauley and a three-pointer by Rhondi Hackett to extend their lead back to 27-19, but Newberry buried a three and three free throws to pull back within two at 27-25.

McCauley connected on two more three-pointers to help the Railsplitters push back in front by nine at 35-26 with four minutes to go, but the Wolves again answered with seven straight points to make it 35-33 with two minutes left in the half.

Lincoln Memorial made the final push of the half, though, as Henry scored and Dahling drilled his fourth three of the half with five seconds left to take the Railsplitters into the locker room with a 40-33 cushion.

After never leading in the first half, Newberry surged out of the gate in the second half, as Giger scored seven straight points in the first 36 seconds of the half to give the Wolves a 42-40 lead.

However, a bucket by Henry followed by a triple from Julius Brown and another bucket for Anthony Brown comprised a 7-0 run that pushed the Railsplitters back in front 47-42 by the 17:39 mark.

Newberry then regained the momentum as Sales Jr. scored four points during a 9-2 run that gave the Wolves a 51-49 lead.

But the Railsplitters took the lead for good over the next passage of play. McCauley tied the game at the 14:24 mark before Henry scored the next eight LMU points to extend the lead to 59-53 with less than 12 minutes to play.

After a bucket for the Wolves cut the LMU lead to 61-57, Julius Brown scored and McCauley canned a three to give the Railsplitters a comfortable 66-57 lead with 7:31 left.

Newberry never trailed by less than five after that as the Railsplitters were able to keep their nose in front the rest of the way despite a determined effort by the Wolves.

A basket from Henry had the Railsplitters in front 82-71 with 2:46 to go, but an 8-2 Newberry run made things interesting at 84-79 with less than 90 seconds to play.

That’s as close as it would get down the stretch, though, as Lincoln Memorial closed it out at the free-throw line.

Quick Hits

– Sales Jr. scored the last 12 points of the game for Newberry and accounted for 26 of his 33 points in the second half.

– Dahling had 14 of his 16 points in the first half, while McCauley had 10 of his 17 points in the first half as well. Henry led the Railsplitters in the second half with 16 points of his 21 points.

– Newberry won the rebounding battle 51-40. The Wolves accounted for that difference on the offensive glass, where they grabbed 12 compared to only one for the Railsplitters.

– Lincoln Memorial defeated Newberry for the fifth straight time while winning its ninth straight at Eleazer Arena.

Up Next

The Railsplitters return to Tex Turner Arena on Wednesday night to host the Mars Hill Lions at 8 p.m.