Saturday, January 3, 2009

Freshman center Paul Harrison (Alpharetta, GA) hit a short jump shot with 15 seconds to go and contested a last second shot and then grabbed the rebound to lead North Greenville (2-4) to a 79-78 road win over Erskine College (1-5) in Due West.

Sophomore forward Zach Babbitt (Greenville, SC/Wade Hampton HS) scored a career high 24 points off the bench and junior forward Kyler Vitko (Alpharetta, GA) added 20 points and six rebounds to pace the Crusader scoring effort. 

NGU got behind early as the Crusaders trailed 14-3 with just four minutes gone.  Babbitt then got the hot hand and helped NGU grab a 42-38 half time lead.  The Crusaders led most of the game, but Brandon Wright, who led all scorers, with 39 points, put the Flying Fleet up by four with five minutes to play.  However, NGU Coach Chad Lister said his team came out of a timeout and stayed focused and went on a 6-0 run to go back in front.  Erskine took a one-point lead inside the final minute setting up Harrison’s heroics.  With the clock winding down, Erskine raced down the court, but Jay Boulware’s shot was long and Harrison grabbed the final miss.

“This was a great way to start the New Year,” Lister said.  “We had a lot of freshmen on the court today but they kept their poise and played hard when they needed to.  We had a long layoff for the Christmas holidays, but we responded very well today.  Their crowd got into the game late, but we hung in there and Paul got a nice screen from Kyler Vitko to get open and hit the winning shot.  We executed very well on the last play, and that’s how you win games.”

Next up for NGU will be a road contest at Reinhardt College in Waleska, GA Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m.  The Crusaders’ next home game will be Tuesday, Jan. 13 against Atlanta Christian at 7:00 p.m. at Hayes Gymnasium.