Any team facing the Newberry Wolves pretty much has to play the game their way, says Queens men’s basketball coach Bart Lundy.
It’s helter-skelter offense, high-pressure trapping defense and frequent substitutions – a style that area Division II opponents became familiar with when Newberry coach Dave Davis was at Pfeiffer a few years back.
The Royals were reintroduced to it on Thursday night, losing 102-85 in a South Atlantic Conference contest at Curry Arena, the fourth loss in five games for Queens.
“You really don’t have a choice – you just have to attack because they push the tempo so much,” Lundy said. “I thought offensively we did OK. We just couldn’t guard them.”
Queens senior guard Jarrett Stokes led all scorers with 23 points, including five 3-pointers. Freshman forward Jared Hendryx added 17 points and was 8-of-8 from the field. Four Royals scored in double figures.
But Newberry (13-4, 9-4) countered with a 13-of-27 shooting night behind the 3-point arc and placed five players in double figures, led by 21 points from junior guard Demarkus Smith, who had four 3-pointers.
Queens (8-9, 6-7) never led after the first seven minutes, going in front for the last time at 17-16 on David Mason’s fast-break layup. Newberry then went on an 18-7 run and finished the half in front 56-43.
But in this game, that wasn’t yet a huge cause for alarm, Lundy said.
“We talked about what could happen if there was a big lead either way,” he said. “What looked like a big lead in this game wasn’t really going to be that big. I never felt like we were that far out of it until the last couple minutes.”
Newberry scored the first eight points of the second half to take its largest lead at 64-43. But Queens trimmed the margin to 71-66 on a runner in the free throw lane by center Nkosi Ali with 12 minutes to play.
The Royals wouldn’t get any closer, as the visitors regained control with a 14-1 run over the next four minutes.
“They made some big 3’s when they needed them and we couldn’t get stops,” Lundy said. “We’ve been winning games with our rebounding and defense and we’re going to have to get back to that to turn things around.”
Mason scored 14 points and sophomore guard Joby Glymph added 13 for Queens. Freshman guard Dondray Walker scored 19 points for Newberry, which has won six of its past seven games. Vincent Hicklin added 17.
Notes: The Royals’ next two games are on the road – at Tusculum in Greeneville, Tenn., on Saturday and at Catawba on Feb. 5. The next home game is at 8 p.m. Feb. 8 against Brevard.
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