Banner Elk, NC – Down by as much as 16 points early in the second half, the North Greenville men’s basketball fought back to earn a 105-95 road win over the Bobcats of Lees-McRae College on Saturday afternoon.
Lees-McRae opened the game on a 6-0 run and led for almost the entire first half, gaining a 14-point advantage at the 7:02 mark, as the Bobcats controlled the game 55-42 at intermission.
With the deficit growing to as much as 16 points in the first five minutes of the second half, the Crusaders used a 21-4 run capped off by a dunk from junior Phillip Brown at the 7:26 mark to take a 75-74 lead.
The final seven minutes of action were controlled by North Greenville as the lead grew to as much as a 12-point advantage as Keith Johnson and Chris Dean combined to hit eight straight free throws in the final minute to seal the 10-point conference victory.
Brown was dominate all game on both sides of the ball, scoring a career-high 37 points on 14-for-21 shooting from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line with 17 rebounds and three blocks. Johnson totaled 22 points of his own, while Dean narrowly missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Freshman Thomas Horn found his stroke from deep, scoring 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from three-point range, while Patrick George recorded eight points and a season-high 11 assists with four steals.
The Crusaders (10-5, 5-2 Conference Carolinas) will host non-conference foe Warren Wilson College on Tuesday, Jan 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Hayes Gymnasium.