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Unbeaten Newman knocks off Fort Hays State

  • Eagle Correspondent
  • Published Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at 8:42 p.m.

Before Saturday’s game, Newman coach Mark Potter wrote "1981" on the dry-erase board in the Jets’ locker room. It stood as a reminder to his players of the last time Newman beat Fort Hays State.

Behind a 29-point performance from senior guard Shamar Acuay and a couple timely runs, the Jets had enough left in their tank to hold off Fort Hays 80-78 at Fugate Gymnasium.

The victory was especially gratifying to Potter, a Newman alum.

"Today is a big day for Newman University basketball," he said.

The win was the second straight for Newman (4-0) over an in-state opponent from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Jets knocked off Pittsburg State on Tuesday.

"As you can see we’re starting to have a little bit of team chemistry," Acuay said. "Everybody is and that’s the big thing. We’re starting to get it now."

Fort Hays (2-2) was the team in control early. The Tigers jumped out to an 11-0 lead before Acuay scored a putback at the 14:30 mark of the first half. Acuay didn’t come into the game until Potter substituted a second five four minutes into the contest. The changing of five in, five out was something Potter was confident he could do with this year’s team and it’s worked well to this point for the Jets.

"We turned the ball over like on six of our first eight possessions," Potter said. "Once we settled in and finally made a bucket, got our press set up, we had three or four runs in there today. It was pretty special to be a part of and we needed every last one of them."

The Jets went on a 16-0 run midway through the first half that put them up 21-17 and Fort Hays was never able to catch up. The lead grew to 10 on a couple occasions before halftime. After the break the Jets got up 69-56 on a Frankie Drayton three-pointer, then added a pair of Acuay free throws to lead by 15.

Fort Hays chipped away and was able to cut the deficit to three with 35.4 seconds left, but Newman was 3 of 4 at the free throw line from there.

The Tigers’ point guard, former Northwest star Craig Nicholson, knocked down a three-pointer from halfcourt at the buzzer. Nicholson finished with 20 points for Fort Hays.

Newman forced Fort Hays into 32 turnovers.

The Jets will be back home Tuesday against another MIAA opponent, Emporia State.

FORT HAYS: Brunson 5-10 7-8 17, Mauge 2-3 0-1 4, Russell 8-13 3-4 23, Nicholson 6-10 5-8 20, Congiusta 2-6 1-2 6, Konrade 2-5 2-3 6, Ball 0-1 0-0 0, Capiti 1-2 0-1 2, Wendel 0-2 0-0 0, Waldman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-52 18-27 78.

NEWMAN: Cuyler 2-11 1-2 5, Mesh 1-2 0-2 2, Beck 3-8 0-0 8, Wesley 1-6 2-4 4, Traylor 4-7 8-9 17, Acuay 8-16 12-16 29, Drayton 3-7 0-0 7, Pleasant 1-5 1-2 3, McCarthy 2-5 0-0 5, Waldron 0-2 0-0 0, Falvo 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-69 24-35 80.

Halftime—NU, 43-35. Three-pointers—FH 8-20 (Russell 4-6, Nicholson 3-5, Congiusta 1-5, Konrade 0-3, Ball 0-1), NU 6-20 (Beck 2-6, Drayton 1-4, Traylor 1-3, Acuay 1-1, McCarthy 1-1, Wesley 0-2, Cuyler 0-1). Rebounds—FH 40 (Brunson 15), NU 43 (Acuay 7). Assists—FH 14 (three with 3); NU 10 (Traylor 3). Fouls—FH 25, NU 23. A—1,005.

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