Clinton, SC – In a rare mid-season exhibition, the North Greenville University men’s basketball team was defeated 91-83 by Division I opponent Presbyterian College on Wednesday night.
The first half saw six ties and two lead changes as NGU rallied from an early 15-7 deficit to cut the margin to one, 18-17. The Crusaders took their first lead of the game, 33-32, at 4:46 off a three from Tyshawn Patterson and led by as much four before PC used two free throws by Khalid Mutakabbir and a basket by Jordan Downing to tie it up at 36-36 with 2:45 left. Both teams traded baskets as the Crusaders and Blue hose went into the locker room knotted at 40-40.
PC outscored NGU 26-10 to open the second half and led by 16, 66-50, with 11:28 left in the game. The Crusaders rallied to cut the deficit to 10, 74-64, at 7:36, and then used a 14-4 run, which included three three-pointers by Jimmy Ellis, to tie the game at 78-78 with 4:38 remaining.
Two and a half minutes later Ellis came through again for NGU with his sixth three-pointer of the night to give the game its ninth tie, 83-83 at the 1:38 mark. That would be the last basket for NGU as PC ended the game on a 8-0 run, which included three-pointers by Mutakabbir and Downing, to take the 91-83 win.
“We are obviously disappointed with the loss but our guys gave a tremendous effort tonight,” said head coach Chad Lister. “Being tied with two minutes to go in the Big South Conference, we will take the positives and build on this. Coach Nibert does a great job and I was pleased with the way we competed against his squad.”
The Crusaders shot 43.1% in the game and 46.7% in the second to help them rally from a 16-point second half deficit and tie the game with four and a half minutes remaining. The Blue Hose were 36-of-58 from the field for 62.1%, which included a 70.4% clip in the second half that helped them during a 21-7 run to build the 16-point lead with 11 and a half minutes on the clock. The Blue Hose held the 31-30 edge in rebounds but were seven ahead on the defensive side, 28-21.
NGU recorded 12 turnovers compared to 11 for PC. The Crusaders hit 15-of-40 three-pointers, including 10 in the second half, while PC recorded a season-high nine-of-20.
Patterson led all scorers with 30 points, shooting 10-for-21 from the field, while Chris Dean followed with 21 points of his own. Ellis was 6-for-11 from three-point range as he finished the game with 18 points in 25 minutes of action off of the bench. Phillip Brown once again was close to a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds to go with a team-high three blocks, while Tim Franklin recorded a game-high 10 assists.