Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville Men’s basketball team dropped its Conference Carolinas home opener on Tuesday night falling to the Tornado of King College 79-74 in Hayes Gymnasium.
The Crusaders found themselves in an early hole as the Tornado rushed out to a 22-8 lead. King hit five three-pointers in the first five minutes on the way to a 14-point advantage. The Tornado led by as many as 19 points during the game, and shot 51 percent from the field in the first half.
The Crusaders trailed by 15 at intermission, and found themselves down 17 with 14 minutes left in the game, but the Crusaders still had some fight left. Led by Jimmy Ellis and Zack Sheilds, NGU cut the Tornado lead to 2 points with 9 minutes left in the game.
Ellis led NGU in scoring accounting for 17 points on 5-9 shooting. Shields followed close behind scoring 16 points on 4-8 shooting. Also scoring in double digits for the Crusaders were Chris Dean and Paul Harrison who had 14 and 10 points respectively. Harrison also led the team with 12 rebounds.
King responded to NGU’s run with one of its own. The Tornado extended their lead to double digits with 4:45 left in the game. NGU once again battled back and cut the King Lead to three points with 42 seconds left. The Tornado hit free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach for NGU.
The loss drops NGU to 0-2 in conference play, and 4-3 overall. The Crusaders will try to rite the ship on January 5 when they travel to Erskine college for a conference matchup with the Flying Fleet. The Crusaders and Fleet will tip off at 7:30pm in Due West, South Carolina.