WINGATE, N.C. – Mars Hill lost at Wingate 74-52 in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action Saturday afternoon at Cuddy Arena. The Lions fell to 1-6 on the season and 0-2 in the league. The Bulldogs improved to 4-5 overall, 2-0 in the SAC.
Vernon Jackson and Brandon Watkins led Mars Hill scoring 10 points apiece. Watkins also pulled down nine rebounds. Nassyr Daniel added six points and eight rebounds. Bennett Wilson recorded six assists and three steals in the contest. Mars Hill shot 39.3% (22-56) from the floor, 28.6% (2-7) from three-point range and 42.9% (6-14) from the foul line. The Lions scored 34 of their 52 points in the paint.
Marco Haskins led all scorers with 17 points. Neico Robinson and Zeriq Lolar followed with 14 and 13 points in the win, respectively. Devarious Christian tallied nine points and the same number of rebounds while Haskins pulled down eight boards. Wingate shot 41.5% (27-65) from the field, 38.7% (12-31) from behind the arc and 80% (8-10) at the charity stripe. The Bulldogs won the battle of the boards, 41-37.
Back-to-back layups by Wilson and Charles Moore gave the Lions an early 4-0 lead. A three-pointer by Lolar brought the Bulldogs within one-point (4-3) with 18:09 on the clock and the game would remain extremely close for the next 10 minutes of play. After Austin Gilyard hit a layup to put the Lions on top 21-19 with 8:11 left in the first half, Wingate went on a 24-6 run over the next six minutes of the contest to enjoy a 16-point lead (43-27) after Jeremy Williams hit a pair of free throws. The Bulldogs would go into the locker room at the intermission with a 12-point (43-31) advantage.
Wingate extended their second half lead to 17 points (55-38) after Haskins hit a three-pointer with 13:44 on the clock. Mars Hill scored nine unanswered points to trim the deficit to just eight points (55-47) with 9:53 left in the game after Gilyard hit a jumper. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Lions would get down the stretch. Wingate outscored the Lions 19-5 in the final minutes of action to hold on for a 74-52 victory.
Mars Hill will play at Warren Wilson on Tuesday, December 5. Tip-off in DeVries Gymnasium is set for 8 p.m.