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Akins leads Wolves to 84-76 win over St. Paul's

Point guard nets 26 points in Newberry debut

Box Score

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Newberry College Wolves trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, but point guard Shamel Akins led the scarlet and gray to an 84-76 win over the St. Paul's College Tigers in the opening game of the Claude Saunders/Wendy's Johnson C. Smith Tipoff Classic in Brayboy Gymnasium on Saturday.

Akins (Charlotte, N.C.) went 7-of-11 from the field with three three-pointers and was 9-of-14 from the free throw line in his Newberry debut. The win was the first for the Wolves under head coach Dave Davis. Chris Reynolds (Augusta, Ga.) scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla.) score nine points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists. Jawuan Lockhart (Washington, D.C.) led the Wolves with five assists.

St. Paul's was led by Kedrick Williams (Winston-Salem, N.C.), who scored 25 points, while Ibn-Saed Rassoull (East Orange, N.J.) had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. George Leseur (Hampton, Va.) scored 15 points.

Newberry opened the scoring on a three-pointer by Coleman Young (Spartanburg, S.C.) but early field goals were hard to come by for the Wolves. The game was tied at 5-all with 16:27 to play in the half, but the Tigers went on a 14-4 run to take a 10-point lead with 12:50 to go in the period. The Wolves chipped away at the lead and narrowed the deficit to eight on a layup by Danny Huffor (Marco Island, Fla.) before St. Paul's extended the lead again, jumping out to a 15-point advantage on a three-pointer by Desmond Faulcon (Weldon, N.C.) with 4:13 to play.

The Wolves responded with a 13-2 run though, closing the margin to four points at halftime. St. Paul's held a 20-16 rebounding advantage at the break, and shot 47.1% (16-of-34) in the opening 20 minutes. Newberry only shot 39.3% (11-of-28) in comparison.

Scoring was limited in the opening of the second half, but Newberry continued to chip away. A 6-0 Wolves' run capped by a Davis jumper gave Newberry its first lead of the half (51-50) at the 14:03 mark. However, Newberry wasn't able to extend the lead to more than one possession in the next 10 minutes, as there were five lead changes and four ties in that span.

With the game tied at 70-all with 3:15 to play, Akins made two high-arcing three-pointers to help kick-start a 10-run that would give the Wolves the lead for good. The Tigers could not cut their deficit to fewer than six points in the final seconds as the Wolves earned their first victory of the 2010-11 season with 11 points off of turnovers and seven points on second chance opportunities in the second half.

Akins was 6-of-8 from the field for 19 points in the second half, and the Wolves earned a 28-17 rebounding edge in the period. Newberry shot 45.9% (15-of-32) in the second half and limited St. Paul's to 37.9% (11-of-29) shooting in the period. The Tigers did not do themselves any favors, going 5-of-14 (35.7%) at the free-throw line.

Newberry closes the JCSU Tipoff Classic on Sunday at 6 p.m. against the homestanding Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith. Tipoff in Brayboy Gymnasium is set for 6 p.m. WKDK-AM 1240 and Brice Zimmerman will bring the call from courtside at 5:45 p.m. Audio will be available online at www.WKDK.com and www.RedZoneMedia.com. JCSU will provide a video webcast at www.GoldenBullSports.com.

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