Melbourne, FL – Five Crusaders scored in double figures as the North Greenville men’s basketball team earned a 99-86 victory over Francis Marion University on the final day of the Florida Tech Christmas Classic on Saturday evening.
North Greenville opened the game on a dominating 14-0 run over the first four minutes, highlighted by eight early points by junior guard Patrick George to claim the early lead before the Patriots closed within two points at the 8:45 mark in the first half.
The Crusaders continued to carry the momentum, holding onto an 11-point, 51-40 lead at the halftime break.
In the second half of action North Greenville’s lead stretched to as much as 15 points with 12:32 left to play and again with just over two minutes remaining before closing the game and securing the 13-point victory on the road.
As a team the Crusaders shot 50 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from three point range, tying a team record with 16 three-pointers made, while holding Francis Marion to just 34.3 percent shooting from the floor as North Greenville earned its second win over the Patriots in the first half of the season.
Senior Keith Johnson totaled a team-high 28 points and six assists, while junior Micah Parker followed close behind with 22 points and six rebounds of his own.
Freshman Thomas Horn poured in a career-high 15 points in 24 minutes off of the bench and senior Chris Dean totaled 14 points and three steals. George finished with a season-high 11 points, six assists and three steals, while fellow junior Phillip Brown narrowly missed a double-double with nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
The Crusaders finish the first half of the season with a 7-3 overall record, including a 2-0 record in Conference Carolinas’ play to sit atop the conference standings. After an exhibition match with Division I USC Upstate on Dec. 31, North Greenville will travel to Erskine College on Saturday, Jan. 4 for a conference matchup with Erskine College at 4 p.m.