MARS HILL, N.C - Freshman Mike Smith scored a career-high 37 points but the Pfeiffer men's basketball team (2-4) fell to Mars Hill (1-5) by a final score of 111-92 on Saturday evening. Smith bested his previous high of 33 points which was set against St. Augustine's on Nov. 16 and he has scored more than 20 points in each of his last five games. Smith's individual performance was outdone by the triumvirate of Jalen Witherspoon, Carter Wright and Isaiah Cuthbersone who combined for 80 points for the Lions.
Smith shot 14-of-27 from the field and hit 9-of-14 free throw attempts, while adding six rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes of action.
Mars Hill shot 59 percent and had a 27-16 advantage on the glass, while scoring 58 first half points. The trio of Wright, Witherspoon and Culberson combined for 54 first half points as Pfeiffer fell behind 58-42 at the break. The Falcons jumped out to a 15-3 early in the first half as the dynamic backcourt of AJ Clark and Smith combined for 13 points in the first five minutes of action. However, Witherspoon and Wright combined for 31 of the Lions first 38 points as Mars Hill used an extended 29-9 run to take a 40-29 lead with 5:33 left in the first half. A Smith lay up with 1:31 remaining cut the lead to 53-42 but the Lions scored the final five points of the half. Smith finished the stanza with 16 points, while Clark added 12.
Smith put the Falcons on his back to start the second half as the freshman scored nine of the team's first 13 points to cut the deficit to single digits at 64-55 with just over 16 minutes to play. A driving layup by Clark with 11:32 cut the Mars Hill lead to 69-64. Smith's 30th point of the night came on a free throw at the 9:05 mark and brought the Falcons within four points of the hosts. The Lions scored six unanswered and eight of 11 points down the stretch to grab a 93-82 lead and didn't look back.
Wright finished the game with 33 points, while Witherspoon added 28 and Cuthbertson had 19.
Sophomore Armin Omanovic recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Clark finished with 15 points and seven assists. Dahn added 13 points off the bench.
The Falcons are back in action on Wednesday night at 7:30 as they open Conference Carolinas play with a visit to Mount Olive.