Wilson, NC – Barton’s Chris Flemming made a layup with just one second remaining as the North Greenville men’s basketball team dropped its second straight Conference Carolinas’ contest 76-74 to the Bulldogs of Barton College on Wednesday night.
The Crusaders and Bulldogs opened the game trading baskets until North Greenville earned a slim four-point lead with 14:36 remaining in the first half.
Despite Barton quickly evening the score minutes later, the Crusaders gained the edge once again on a 7-1 run midway through the half until the Bulldogs flipped the tables to lead 29-23 with just over seven minutes remaining.
North Greenville fought back to tie the game three more times over the final five minutes of play before a three-pointer by the Bulldogs’ Kendall Patterson gave Barton a 40-37 advantage at intermission.
The second half of play opened with a slight 10-4 run by the Crusaders to make the score 47-44 with 16:34 to play, but the Bulldogs continued to battle back on their home floor.
Neither team was able to gain a lead of over six points in the final 15 minutes of play as the contest remained tightly contested throughout the second half.
The Crusaders had a chance to take the lead late in the game, but missed free throws spelled doom for North Greenville as Barton earned the win with the last second lay in for the two-point victory.
All in all, the game saw 16 ties and 12 total lead changes as North Greenville shot 52.1 percent from the floor and pulled down 43 total rebounds in comparison to just 27 boards by the Bulldogs. The telling factor was in the turnover margin as Barton gave the ball up 11 times while the Crusaders committed 21 turnovers in the game.
Senior Chris Dean totaled a season-high 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field with nine rebounds, while fellow senior Keith Johnson was 7-for-12 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from deep, to finish with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Junior forward Phillip Brown recorded his eighth double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and tying his own school record with 20 rebounds as fellow junior Micah Parker rounded out the double-digit scorers for North Greenville with 11 points in 28 minutes of action.
North Greenville (7-5, 2-2 Conference Carolinas) will return home to host the University of Mount Olive on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. in Hayes Gymnasium.