By Mike DeVader, Reinhardt Director of Athletic Communications & Media
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Men's basketball dropped its third-straight contest on Sunday as it couldn't hold down the Royals of Warner (Fla.) – the 18th-ranked team in the NAIA – in an 82-66 final at the NAIA Division II Show at MeadowView in Tennessee.
The Eagles, who are now 3-8 on the season under first-year head coach Justin Newton, found a groove early and stood right with Warner for most of the way. In fact, Reinhardt shot around 60 percent from both the floor overall and beyond the arc in the opening period, helping the team bolt out to an early seven-point lead in opening minutes of the contest.
Both squads would play solid halves and go to the locker room only four points apart, 41-37, before the Royals would quickly pull away in the second half and get out of reach from the Eagles the rest of the way.
Free throw shooting and opportunities at the line would continue to be a storyline during this event for the hometown team. Yesterday, the Eagles fought an uphill battle with fouls, and today was no different, as the Royals made 18-of-21 freebies in the first 20 minutes before connecting on 7-for-8 in the second half.
The 25 made free throws were more than double the attempts at the charity stripe for Reinhardt (13) in the loss.
Those chances alone put the Eagles in a tough spot to come out on top after they put together one of their best shooting performances of the season to the tune of 23-of-43 (53.5 percent) and 10 made 3-pointers in 19 attempts.
Individually, three student-athletes hit double-digit scoring, paced by 16 points from Blake McIntyre and his four made treys. Josh Daniels (15) and Dwayne Wilson (12) also went above the 10-plus-point plateau.
Reinhardt also out-rebounded Warner as a group, 32-26, as it was led by Marcus Kirkland's seven boards to go along with seven points.
Kye Jeremiah had a team-high four assists in the outing.
Another exhibition is on the horizon tomorrow for Reinhardt, as the squad makes a quick stop at NCAA Division I Tennessee Tech in a 7 p.m. matchup.
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