By Mike DeVader, Reinhardt Director of Athletic Communications & Media
MONTREAT, N.C. – A 50-point second half wasn't enough for Reinhardt men's basketball to come home with an Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) victory on the road at Montreat (N.C.) on Saturday evening, 81-77.
The Eagles (2-4) stormed all the back to take the lead late in the contest following a pair of Chris Rogers baskets – a layup and a dunk – to pull ahead, 74-70, with just 3:07 remaining. The two teams would then exchange 3-point makes around the one-minute mark, but a turnover with just seconds remaining opened the door for a Cavalier win.
"We dug ourselves a hole being down 18 at half," head coach Justin Newton said. "No moral victories but I was so proud of the guys for fighting back to lead by four in the second half. We had some guys in foul trouble and we just didn't finish the game strong. I finally felt that we committed to playing our style the entire second half and that was a positive. If we'll commit to that for 40 minutes and play for each other, we still have a chance to be really good."
All five starters for the hometown squad hit double-digits in scoring, as Josh Daniels was at the top of the list with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
The gap was narrowed in the second half by Reinhardt thanks to much better offensive flow, resulting in 17-for-29 for 58.6 percent following an opening half of 41.7 percent on 10 makes from the field. The Eagles also attacked more and got to the charity stripe – connecting on 14 freebies in 20 chances.
For the game, Reinhardt connected on more than half of its shots (27-for-53), but the team missed 13 free throws.
The Eagles also had 16 turnovers in the loss.
The hometown club takes a step up in competition on Monday night with a trip to Kennesaw State with an exhibition contest beginning at 7 p.m.
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