Tigerville, SC – After a three-game road trip, the North Greenville University men’s basketball team returned home and secured an 87-76 victory over St. Augustine’s College on Saturday afternoon.
St. Augustine’s, a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, controlled the tempo for the early part of the first half until North Greenville gained a 26-25 advantage with 8:23 remaining that they would never relinquish. From that point on, the Crusaders ended the half on a 19-7 run to hold a 45-32 edge at the break.
Although the Falcons opened the second half with seven unanswered points, the Crusader defense held strong and the offense hit key shots down the stretch to secure their 11-point victory.
“St Augustine's is a fine team from the CIAA,” said head coach Chad Lister. “They are coming off a great win at Barton, which is one of top teams in our conference. Coach Spencer does a great job with his guys. We came out with a lot of energy and found a way to overcome a hot shooting streak by St. Augustine's in the first half.”
Despite the Falcons shooting 58.1% in the first half of play, St. Augustine’s finished the game shooting 43.5% from the floor and just 23.5% from three-point range. In comparison, the Crusaders shot an impressive 52.8% from the floor while racking up 18 assists.
“We still have a long way to go, but this gives us needed momentum during Christmas,” said Lister. “We will have to be on top of our game when King comes here on January 3.”
Thanks in part to 17 first half points, Paul Harrison led the Crusaders with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor to go with five rebounds and three assists.
Chris Dean recorded his first double-double of the season as he scored 17 points and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds, while Jimmy Ellis led all bench players with 11 points in 10 minutes of play.
Tim Franklin recorded nine points and a team-high seven assists, while Jamaal Pryor recorded eight points and five rebounds in 10 minutes off of the bench.
The Crusaders (4-2, 0-1 in conference) will have a much-needed break before returning to action in Hayes Gymnasium on January 3 against fellow Conference Carolinas newcomer King College. The game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.