Paul Harrison had another big night for the North Greenville Crusaders, scoring 20 points and hauling down 14 rebounds, but Livingstone College used a hot shooting five minute stretch midway through the second half to pull away and win 86-78 in Salisbury, NC.
Kyler Vitko backed Harrison’s double double with 16 points. Sophomore guard Tyler Mains scored 12 points for the Crusaders.
The Crusaders led 26-16 in the first half, but the Blue Bears stormed back with a late scoring binge to trail NGU 36-35 at the break. Livingstone, which shot 47% for the game, scorched the nets in the second half and led by 16 with five minutes to play. The Bears also pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in the game, which caused led to numerous points in the paint.
However, Coach Chad Lister said the Crusaders fought back late in the game. “Our kids really battled,” Lister noted. “If they would have let us play 48 minutes, I think we could have won the game. But, the rules only give you 40, so we came up just a few points shy. We had really good defensive execution most of the game, but that five minute gap really cost us because they scored some easy baskets and had some good looks at the basket. On the plus side, we did hit 22 for 27 at the free throw line.”
NGU will next host Morris College (Sumter, SC) Saturday, Feb. 7 at 4:00 p.m. at Hayes Gym in Tigerville. They also will be at home against Belmont Abbey Monday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.