Hartsville, SC - In the first game of the 2014-15 season the North Greenville University men's basketball team used a strong second half effort to earn an 82-73 victory over Coker College in the Sodexo SAC/Conference Carolinas Challenge on Friday night.
The Cobras opened game on a 10-2 run in the first two minutes of play before the Crusaders battled back as a three-pointer by junior Chris Brown gave the team a 15-13 lead at the 14:10 mark. The two teams traded baskets for next five minutes of play until the Crusaders used a 9-4 run to gain a six-point advantage with just over six minutes to play.
Coker and North Greenville continued to battle throughout the first half as a layup by senior Phillip Brown tied the game at 36-36 heading into the halftime break.
The second half of action held much of the same back-and-forth play in the early going until North Greenville broke through on a 15-2 run over a six minute stretch to earn a 63-50 advantage midway through the half.
North Greenville's lead would hold strong throughout the final minutes of play as Coker was unable to overcome the double-digit deficit on their home floor.
Brown led the attack with a double-double, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor, with 12 rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Fellow senior was the team's leading scorer with 16 points, while junior Chris Brown totaled 13 points, including 3-for-4 from deep in his first game as a Crusader.
Junior Korval McElroy, also in his first game in red and black, recorded 10 points as freshman Spencer Reaves scored 11 points as five Crusaders scored in double digits. Sophomore Troy Blyden narrowly missed a double-double, scoring eight points and pulling down seven rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.
The Crusaders (1-0, 0-0 Conference Carolinas) will take on Newberry College tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in Hartsville.