NEWBERRY, S.C. – The Mars Hill women's basketball team opened their three-game road trip with an 83-58 loss against Newberry Monday evening. Mariah Johnson had a team-high 12 points.
The teams held tight in the opening frame with Newberry taking an 18-15 advantage into the second period. Trailing 9-6 with 5:54 left in the first period, the Lions would go on a 7-2 run to take a 13-11 lead with just under four minutes remaining. A 3-pointer from Courtney Lyons gave Newberry the 14-11 advantage, a lead that the Wolves would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Newberry opened the second period on a 13-4 run to give them a 31-19 lead with under seven minutes left in the half. Georgia Elliott-King knocked down two 3-pointers in that stretch. The Lions cut the lead to nine with just over four minutes remaining, but the Wolves answered back, retaking the double-digit lead and closed out the half on a 5-2 run to carry a 40-26 lead into the half.
King-Elliott led the Wolves' offense with nine first half points, shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Meg Essex chipped in with six points. Shayla Smith paced the Lions with eight points and three rebounds.
The third period saw the Wolves outscore the Lions 31-17, led by Shelby Britten's 13 points. Going 5-of-7 from the field, Britten helped extend the Wolves lead to 71-43 entering the final 10 minutes of play. Newberry pounced from the onset, opening the half on a 15-2 stretch. For the Lions, Valeriya Pokrovskaya drained two 3-pointers for six third period points.
Mars Hill outscored Newberry 15-12 in the final 10 minutes of the contest, but the large lead built by Newberry remained intact. Johnson had six of the Lions points, followed by Grubbs' five. Grubbs, along with Smith, each collected four rebounds in the period. The Wolves were led by Lyons, who accounted for eight of the 12 Newberry fourth period points.
Four Wolves' reached double-figures with Elliott-King leading the way with a game-high 19 points. Britten, Essex and Lyons figured in with 16, 13 and 11 points, respectively. Britten added nine rebounds on her night.
Smith had her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Grubbs finished the contest with nine points, followed by Pokrovskaya, who had eight.
The Lions drop to 1-15 (0-8 SAC) as Newberry improves to 8-6 (3-4 SAC).
Mars Hill returns to action Wednesday, January when they take on Anderson. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.