Gaffney, SC – A late comeback by the Crusaders fell just short as the North Greenville University men’s fell 78-74 at the hands of in-state rival Limestone College on Monday night.
In the first half of action, the Crusaders held a slim lead throughout the first ten minutes of play until a three-pointer by Limestone’s Ryan Brogden gave the Saints a one-point lead. North Greenville battled back to tie the game at 32-32 on a layup by Tyshawn Patterson with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Limestone made a free throw followed by a three-pointer to gain a four point lead until freshman AJ Clements sank a three-pointer of his own to make the score 36-35 in favor of Limestone at the break.
Limestone opened the second half with eight unanswered to gain a lead the team would never relinquish. With just over three minutes remaining, Limestone lead by five until back-to-back baskets by Patterson and sophomore Phillip Brown cut the lead to one point with two minutes left on the clock.
However, Patterson missed three straight shots in the final two minutes of play as Limestone’s Joe Raga sunk one of two free throws and PJ Foster made two free throws with two seconds remaining to down the Crusaders on the road.
Patterson led the Crusaders with 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting in the game. Brown recorded 12 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes of play, while Chris Dean chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds of his own. Keith Johnson had another solid game, totaling 11 points and nine rebounds on the night.
The Crusaders (7-10, 4-9 in Conference Carolinas) will return home on Thursday, Feb. 7 for a matchup Pfeiffer University at 7:30 p.m. in Hayes Gymnasium.