Belmont Abbey (14-7), a member of the NCAA Division II Carolinas Conference, used a torrid shooting night by Richard Barbee, who scored 23 points, and a big second half by Chad Patus to guide the Crusaders past host North Greenville (7-13) 82-65 in a non conference game at Hayes Gym in Tigerville.
Kyler Vitko came off the bench to score 16 points and pull down seven rebounds to lead NGU. Zach Babbitt was the only other NGU player in double figure with 11 points. NGU Crusader center Paul Harrison was held under double figures for only the third time this season at nine points.
Belmont Abbey, which started 7-1 center Alex Pledger, against the 6-9 Harrison, dominated inside much of the game. However, it was the shooting of Barbee that made the difference.
NGU battled the talented Belmont Abbey Crusaders to a 42-30 deficit at halftime. Then, the roof caved in defensively for NGU as Belmont pummeled North Greenville offensively the first 11 minutes of the second half. Belmont Abbey poured it on and took a 73-41 lead with 9:03 left. They then hit the cruise control button as Coach Chad Lister’s Crusaders fought back to limit Belmont to nine points the rest of the game while scoring 24 of their own.
NGU will travel to Brevard, NC Wednesday, Feb. 11 for a rematch with rival Brevard at 8:00 p.m. The Crusaders’ next home game is Saturday, Feb. 14 at 4:00 p.m.
Catch all the NGU home games on radio at 95.5 FM The Vibe. The game link for radio and live statistics can be found on the NGU Athletics website at www.ngcrusaders.com.