NEWBERRY, S.C. – Paced by a 17-point and eight steal performance by junior Kendra Brown, the Newberry women's basketball team edged the visiting Carson-Newman Lady Eagles 57-55 on a pair of Haylee Lepaio free throws just before time expired.
Carson-Newman (8-6, 2-4 South Atlantic Conference) jumped out to an early five-point lead on a layup by Shannon Depew. Newberry (10-4, 5-1 SAC) cut into the Lady Eagles before a pair of made free throws by Lundyn Howard with 13:28 on the clock put Carson-Newman back on top by five.
The Lady Eagles continued to control the scoreboard until freshman Emily Perry (Nambour, Queensland, Australia) scored off a layup to tie the game at 18-18. A 3-point make by Perry with 6:47 on the clock gave the Wolves their first lead of the afternoon.
Newberry extended its lead as the half continued leading by as many as nine points with a little over a minute remaining in the half. A jumper by Carson-Newman's Rechelle Dye was the final basket of the half as the Wolves left the court at halftime with 31-24 lead.
Lepaio (Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia) led all scorers at half with seven points, while Brown tallied four steals in the first 20 minutes.
Carson-Newman opened the second half hot making three straight baskets and a free throw to cut the Wolves lead to one. Newberry was able to fend off Carson-Newman until 12:43 when Zoriah Williams gave the Lady Eagles their first lead 8:29 in the first half.
A 3-point make by Brown put the Wolves ahead before a back-and-forth game saw the Lady Eagles jump to a five-point lead on a Whitney Moody jumper with 8:48 remaining in the game. The two sides exchanged baskets before the Wolves tried to run the clock down for an opportune shot. Down by four with 1:22 on the clock, Newberry junior Neicey Lewis (Riverdale, Ga.) drew a foul from Courdney Miles and made one of two free throws to put Newberry behind by one.
A turnover on the following possession by Miles led to another Carson-Newman foul allowing Lewis to tie the game at 55-55 on a pair of made free throws. With a little over 15 seconds remaining it appeared Carson-Newman would have the final chance to win the game, before senior Keisha Henderson (Columbia, S.C.) collected a steal with 10 seconds remaining in the game. After a 30-second timeout Lepaio drew a foul from Miles and hit a pair of free throws giving Newberry a two-point lead with 1.4 seconds on the clock.
Carson-Newman took a 30-second timeout to set one final play, but was unable to get a shot off before time expired securing the 57-55 Newberry victory.
Brown led all scorers with 17 points and eight steals. The eight steals, are the most by a Newberry women's basketball player since February 23, 1999 when Loni Cushman recorded 10 steals in a game. Brown is now tied for No. 5 in most steals in a game at Newberry College.
Lepaio posted a 14-point game, while Lewis recorded seven rebounds.
Carson-Newman's Zoriah Williams led the Lady Eagles with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
C-N hosts Mars Hill on Wednesday at 6 p.m.