Tigerville, SC – Thanks in large part to a 50-point second half effort, the North Greenville University men’s basketball team earned its fourth straight victory with an 87-74 win over non-conference opponent Warren Wilson College on Tuesday night in Hayes Gymnasium.
The Owls jumped out to an early lead in the first few minutes of play before a short 12-4 run put the Crusaders ahead by six points with 12:45 on the game clock. The two teams continued to battle throughout the half, trading baskets until senior Blake Ferguson corralled an offensive rebounds and hit layup at the buzzer to make the score 37-37 at the halftime break.
The second half began much like the first with Warren Wilson getting out to a four-point advantage just three minutes into the half. However, the Crusaders found their stroke leading to a 22-5 run over a seven-minute stretch to gain a 16-point lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
The Crusader lead remained in double-digits for much of the final 10 minutes of play as the Owls were unable to get any closer than a six-point deficit, leading to the 13-point victory at home for North Greenville.
North Greenville’s defense forced 16 Owl turnovers and held Warren Wilson to just 38.1 percent shooting from the floor, while the Crusaders shot 43.1 percent and gained a 42-37 edge on the boards.
Junior Phillip Brown continued his dominance on both sides of the board as he recorded sixth straight double-double and 12th of the season with a game-high 36 points, shooting 10-for-14 from the floor and 16-for-17 from the free throw line, with 14 rebounds and eight blocks.
Senior Chris Dean totaled 13 points and a game-high three steals, while fellow senior Keith Johnson finished with 11 points and six assists. Junior Micah Parker rounded out the double digit scorers for North Greenville with 10 points as Patrick George recorded eight points and a game-high seven assists.
The Crusaders (11-5, 5-2 Conference Carolinas) will host another non-conference opponent on Thursday, Jan. 23 when Truett McConnell College comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. matchup in Hayes Gymnasium.