Franklin Springs, S.C. – With a spot in the NCCAA National Tournament on the line, Southeastern University defeated North Greenville 93-87 on Wednesday afternoon at Emmanuel College.
The Crusaders held a 49-36 advantage at intermission but costly turnovers and poor transition defense by North Greenville allowed the Fire to overcome the seven-point deficit and seal the victory.
“We played with a great deal of energy and shot the ball well enough to win,” said head coach Chad Lister. “As disappointing as it is to lose in the championship game, I am extremely proud of our team. We have fine young men with tremendous character and they represent North Greenville University well.”
Paul Harrison, who received First Team All South Region honors for his performance in the tournament, led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds. Chris Dean continued his impressive tournament performance with 15 points and four assists, while Luke Lattimer scored 11 points and earned Second Team All South Region honors.
The Crusaders finish the 2010-11 season with the best record in school history at 22-7, including a 13-2 record in Hayes Gymnasium. As a team, North Greenville scored 84.7 points per game while holding opponents to just 61.4 points per game. The Crusaders shot an impressive 49.9% from the field as well as 36.7% from three-point range.
On an individual level, Harrison led the team with 18.2 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game, while finishing second on the team in field goal percentage making 61.8% of his shots from the floor. Lattimer finished as the team’s second leading scorer with 10.3 points per game, shooting 31.6% from three-point range, while Jamaal Pryor finished in third with 8.1 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds per game and shooting a team best 62.5% from the floor.
The Crusaders’ focus now shifts to the 2011-12 season in which they will be new members of Conference Carolinas along with King College. In three games this season against Conference Carolinas opponents the Crusaders finished 1-2 including a 73-58 victory over Erskine College on Jan. 29 in Due West, S.C.