MARS HILL, NC – Elliot McDowell (Canton, NC) scored his career high 37 points to lift MHC over the visiting Crusaders of North Greenville University in overtime tonight in Stanford Arena, 96-92. MHC improved to 6-7 on the season while NGC dropped to 2-10.
In the first half MHC jumped out to a 10-point lead (24-14) with 11:12 remaining in the opening period after Walt Baxley (Winston-Salem, NC) hit a layup. NGC fought back out scoring the Lions 32-to-11 over the next eight minutes to take a seven-point (42-35) advantage with 2:06 left after Victor Duck (Taylors, SC) hit a 3-pointer. James Hippolyte (Spring Valley, NY) was fouled on the Lions’ next possession and he sank two foul shots to send the teams into the locker room with the Crusaders enjoying a 42-39 lead at the intermission.
NGC led for 19:50 of the second half. They took their biggest lead of nine points (76-67) with 2:28 on the clock after Duck hit a shot in the lane. MHC then out scored NGC, 12-to-3 in the remaining two minutes of regulation to tie the game at 79-all with 10 seconds left in the contest after Baxley hit a long-range 3-pointer from the left wing.
Baxley hit a layup 21 seconds into the first overtime period to give MHC an 81-79 advantage they would not relinquish. MHC led by as many as seven points (90-83) with 1:06 on the clock in the extra frame after Baxley hit 1-of-2 free throws. A 3-pointer by Josh Burgess (Pickens, SC) trimmed the Lions’ lead to just two points (94-92) with 17 seconds left but McDowell hit a layup on a full court outlet pass eight seconds later to seal the win.
McDowell was 11-for-18 from the floor and 12-of-13 from the foul line to obtain his game-high 37 points. He added seven rebounds and two assists in the victory. Baxley followed with 24 points, five assists and three rebounds as the only other Lion in double-figures in scoring. MHC hit 48.6% (34-70) of their field goals in the game, scored 50- points in the paint, received 21 points off their bench and had 29 second chance points. The Lions won the rebound battle, 36-to-34. MHC leads the series against NGC, 7-2.
Five Crusaders scored in double-figures in the game. Duck led NGC with 23 points followed by Burgess with 19. P.J. Schumacher (Waynesburg, PA) added 17 while Amonzo Gantt (Royston, GA) scored 12 and Andrew Nipper (Cleveland, TN) scored 11. The Crusaders hit 56.7% (34-60) of their field goal attempts in the loss.
North Greenville looks to get back in the win column as they host Allen University Thursday night in Hayes Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.