WINGATE, N.C. – The Lions' lost on the road at Wingate, 94-73, in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action Saturday evening in Cuddy Arena. Mars Hill fell to 4-14 overall and 2-10 in the league. The Bulldogs improved to 11-7 on the season, 8-4 in the SAC.
Valentin Bauer came off the bench to lead Mars Hill with 10 points and five rebounds followed by Collin Hartman with nine points and four boards. Indiana Rotondo, Brandon Watkins and Makyle Wilkerson added eight points apiece in the contest. Mars Hill hit 44.3% (27-61) from the floor, 31.3% (5-16) from three-point range and 73.7% (14-19) from the foul line. The Lions received 41 points from their bench.
Keith Griffin led all scorers with 21 points to pace the Bulldogs. Anthanee Doyle added 17 points while Isiah Cureton came off the bench to post a double-double with 11 points and the same number of rebounds. Wingate connected on 56.1% (32-57) of their field goal attempts, 45.8% (11-24) of their shots from behind the arc and 67.9% (19-28) of their free throw attempts. Wingate edged the Lions on the boards, 35-32.
Mars Hill jumped out to an 11-7 lead to start the contest after Wilkerson hit a jumper with 16:50 left in the first half. A three-pointer by Doyle and a shot in the lane by Griffin over the next minute of play gave Wingate a 12-11 advantage they would not relinquish the remainder of the contest. Wingate outscored Mars Hill 39-21 to close out the half and take a 19 point lead (51-32) lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Lions began the second frame on a 9-2 run to trim the deficit to 12 points (53-41) with 17:40 left in regulation after Rotondo scored inside. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Lions would get. Wingate went on a 14-4 run of their own over the next five minutes of play to seal the win and take a 22-point advantage (67-45) after Josh Dominguez hit a three-pointer. The Bulldogs led by as many as 25 points (92-67) with 2:29 left in the contest before ending the game with a 94-73 victory.
Mars Hill will return to action on Wednesday, January 25, when they play at SAC opponent Anderson. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.