WICHITA, Kansas - The McMurry University men's basketball team suffered their first loss of the season, as they fell, 61-52, to Newman University on Thursday evening. Turnovers proved to be the key as the War Hawks (5-1) committed 23, which led to 20 Newman (6-0) points.
The two programs played a highly competitive first half as the game saw six ties in just the first 11 minutes, with the final tie of the half coming at 19-19 on jumper by Alfred Perez.
The Jets then went on a small, 6-0, run to expand their lead to 25-19, before the lead was cut to two on back-to-back buckets by Kenny Williams and Perez. The lead would then continue to fluctuate between two and six points for the next seven minutes, and the teams went into the half with the Jets leading McMurry, 34-28.
The halftime score marked the first time this season that McM has trailed at the break. The War Hawks were forced into 13 first half turnovers that led to 11 Jets' points. McMurry also shot just 58 percent (7-of-12) from the free throw line, an area which they have excelled at all season.
McMurry opened the second half with a 10-2 run that spanned the first 4:56 of the frame. Williams totaled eight straight to open the half and tied the game at 36-36. Perez then gave McM its first lead of the half, 40-38 with 15:04 left to play.
The two teams would trade baskets with McM matching Newman blow-for-blow to maintain the slim two-point margin. However, a layup by Shamar Acuay, and a three-point shot by Darrell Traylor put Newman back in front, 47-44 with 10:12 left in the contest.
Over the next ten minutes of the game, the Jets would extend the lead to as many as 12 points, before handing the War Hawks a nine-point defeat, 61-52.
Williams had a stellar game for McMurry in the loss, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while grabbing 10 boards, for his second double-double of the season.
For Newman, Marquis Cuyler led the way with 19 points and Acuay added 16.
Despite McMurry shooting 48 percent from the field in the game, and outrebounding the Jets by 11 over the course of the game, it was free throws (10-of-20) and untimely turnovers that ultimately led to the War Hawks first defeat of the season.
McM will be back in action on Saturday, December 1, when they take on the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. The contest is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip-off.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.