Tigerville, S.C. - Korval McElroy posted a season high 19 points while three other players scored in double-figures leading North Greenville past Columbia International University 82-64, Thursday night in Hayes Gymnasium.
Justin Dotson added 17 points for the Crusaders while Miguel Reyes Cartagena scored a career high 12 points. Troy Blyden rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. The Crusaders finished the night shooting 46.4 percent as a team, knocking down 32 of 69 shots.
The Crusaders and Rams battled to the tune of six ties and eight lead changes in the first half. NGU would grab the upper hand before the end of the period but had a nine-point lead cut down to four as the Rams ended the opening frame on a 7-2 run, as NGU took a 38-34 lead into intermission.
A 10-0 lead to open the second half would extend NGU's lead to 15-points, the largest of the game for either team. The run was sparked by Blyden and Cartagena who combined to score all 10 points. Cartagena knocked down two three pointers while Blyden put an exclamation point on the lead with two thunderous dunks as the Rams called a timeout, down 5-35.
The Crusaders would lead by as many as 29-points as a 70-41 lead would carry them to the 9:58 mark of the game. The Rams would continue to scrap though, cutting the NGU advantage to to just 12, using the momentum of an 18-1.
North Greenville would survive the nearly six-minute dry-spell however, and reclaim a 17-point cushion as Justin Dotson knocked down one of his three, three pointers. Dotson was 3-7 from behind the arc, while Matt Moore finished 3-3 from deep. NGU was 6-10 overall. The Crusaders would score four of the next six points, running the clock down to zero, securing the first win of the season for NGU Basketball.
A big second half was the key to NGU's victory, Friday night, as the Crusaders shot 50 percent from the field, the highest total of the season. The Crusaders also dominated on the boards collecting 45 rebounds while outscoring the Rams 15-7 on fast breaks.
The Crusaders, now 1-2 on the season, will be back in action on November 24th when they host Belmont Abbey in the first Conference Carolinas game of the 2015-2016 season. The tipoff in the Battle of the Crusaders is scheduled for 7:30pm.