Monday, February 6, 2012

Tigerville, SC – Led by 39 bench points and hot shooting, the North Greenville University men’s basketball team broke its four-game losing streak with an overtime victory over Erskine College 80-73 on Monday night.

With the win North Greenville moves into fourth place in the Western Division in Conference Carolinas as they continue to make a push for a conference tournament bid.

As a team the Crusaders were unconscious from long range, shooting 12-for-25 (48%) from three-point range and 56.4% from the field overall. North Greenville was also strong on the boards, outrebounding Erskine 42-28, while holding the Flying Fleet to just 39.1% shooting from the floor.

The Crusaders were in control for much of the first half as they opened up an eight-point lead with 9:24 remaining. Erskine did their best to close the gap but North Greenville held a slim 32-28 advantage at the half.

The Flying Fleet opened the second half with a vengeance as they took a slight one-point lead with 16:15 to go before the Crusaders quickly tied the game with 14:04 left in the half.

From that point on, Erskine began to gain momentum and built a seven-point lead with 5:43 remaining in regulation. However, a clutch three-point by Zack Shields tied the game at 68-68 an sent the game into an overtime period.

The extra five minutes was all North Greenville as the Crusaders opened with back-to-back three-pointers by Shields and Jimmy Ellis to build a lead they never relinquished.

Paul Harrison collected his 13th double-double of the season with game-highs of 23 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, while Shields nailed 7-of-13 three-pointers in route to a double-double of his own, tying for game-highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench.

Ellis rattled in five three-pointers of his own for 15 points in 26 off of the bench and Jason Wray narrowly missed a double-double of his own with 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The Crusaders (11-10, 5-8 in conference) will have five days before their next game on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Wilson, NC as they take on Barton College at 7:30 p.m.