Mars Hill downs Owls in fast-paced contest to snap four-game skid

Mars Hill downs Owls in fast-paced contest to snap four-game skid

SWANNANOA, N.C. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 101-92 victory over Warren Wilson in DeVries Gymnasium Tuesday evening. Charles Moore was one of six Lions to score 10 or more points, leading the team with 19 on the night.

Mars Hill improves to 2-6 (0-2 SAC) while Warren Wilson drops to 6-6 on the year.

The game saw a frantic, frenetic pace from first to last whistle. Nassyr Daniel opened the scoring 14 seconds in with a layup. The Owls responded, scoring the next six. A layup and free throw conversion from Tyquavion Dix and a 3-pointer from Jordan Gant gave the Owls an early 6-2 lead. Mars Hill stormed back to go on an 8-0 run, taking a 10-6 lead off of a massive dunk from Brandon Watkins. Daniel had the first eight points for the Lions in less than three minutes.

Leading 12-11 with 16:21 remaining in the half, a layup from Justen Hartfield started another lengthy run for the Lions. Scoring nine of the next 11 points, Mars Hill's offense was clicking on all cylinders early on in the contest. The Owls once again responded. Down 23-14, Warren Wilson swooped ahead to take their first lead of the half since the opening two minutes with 10:47 remaining, going on a 10-0 run.

Both teams battled hard in the latter half of the frame, keeping the contest within five points until the 14:14 mark. Two made free throws from Moore began a 10-0 run to give the Lions a 12 point lead with 3:06 remaining in the first half. The teams traded baskets back and forth before Mars Hill entered halftime with a 54-41 lead.

Daniels pulled down seven rebounds to go along with his eight points. Bennett Wilson put up a half-high going 4-of-6 from the field for 10 points. Darius Bryant led the way for the Owls with nine first half points and seven rebounds. Dix added eight.

The second half saw more of the same from each team with both teams combining for 98 points. The Owls outscored the Lions 51-47 and were led by sensational second half performances from the duo of Bryant and Marques Sullivan. Sullivan scored 13 of his 16 points in 12 minutes of play while adding five assists. Bryant chipped in another 10 points and seven rebounds.

Mars Hill opened the half on a 13-7 run to extend their lead to 67-48 less than five minutes into the stanza. It would be their largest lead of the night. Warren Wilson would reel off nine straight points to shrink the lead to eight before a layup by Brandon Reeves extended the lead back into double-figures. Led by Bryant and Sullivan, the Owls would score six of the next eight points to trim the lead back down to six points.

Following a timeout with just over 10 minutes remaining in the contest, the Owls offense scored the next four points to bring the game within two. A resilient Lion squad regained their composure and answered back with a 6-0 run of their own, led by Daniel's four consecutive points.

The Owls would once again draw within three points with 7:01 left, but it was the closest they would come to regaining the lead. Although they outscored the Lions 14-9 in the last seven minutes, Mars Hill's large lead was maintained to snap the losing streak and put up 100 points for the first time of the 2017-18 campaign.

Bryant finished the game for the Owls with 19 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double. Sullivan had 16 points and six assists. Four other Warren Wilson players were in double-digits, including Lukas Jouzapavicius (13), Gant (13), Merault Almonor (12) and Dix (10).

Daniel collected another double-double on the year, finishing the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Reeves joined Daniel with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Wilson and Justen Hartfield each ended the game with 16 points. Hartfield snatched eight rebounds. Austin Gilyard chipped in 12 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Mars Hill dominated inside the paint with a 54-34 advantage. Warren Wilson, however, capitalized off of Mars Hill turnovers, outscoring the Lions 33-18. The Lions doubled up the Owls bench production with a 43-21 advantage.

The Lions return to South Atlantic Conference play on Saturday, December 9. They host Newberry inside Stanford Arena with a projected 4 p.m. start time.

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