Melbourne, FL—North Greenville men's basketball wrapped up its Thanksgiving tournament with a 1-1 record after falling to Florida Tech 72-55, Saturday evening in Florida.
Miguel Reyes Cartagena scored a career high 21-points to lead the Crusaders on offense. Korval McElroy was the only other double figure scorer for NGU with 12-points. North Greenville struggled offensively, shooting just 41 percent for the game.
The Panthers led by as many as 17-points the first half, but NGU would battle back and cut the lead to two. A jumper from Tommy Wade sparked an 18-1 run, making the score 27-25 with 2:32 left in the opening period. Florida Tech would hit its first shot from the field in more than eight minutes, trading shots with the Crusaders, eventually taking a five-point lead into intermission.
The Crusaders would fair a little better offensively in the second half shooting 46 percent from the field compared to just 37 percent in the opening period. The Panthers led for the entire second stanza but North Greenville continued battle. A 10-point edge for the Panthers would dwindle to just two with 9:44 left in the game as the Crusaders positioned themselves to earn just their second lead of the game, and first since the 9:26 mark of the first half.
Tech re-opened a 10-point advantage though, as the Crusaders came up empty on five of their next six possessions. The panthers would take a 60-50 lead with 6:15 left in the game as NGU struggled to find a rhythm on offense. North Greenville would score just five points in the final five minutes of game play as the Panthers took advantage of the NGU dry spell, extending its lead to 17-points for the second time as the clock ran out.
The Panthers were just slightly better than NGU on the offensive side of the court, finishing the night shooting 43 percent. They shot 34 percent in the first half but came out hot in the second, knocking down 15-26 shots, shooting 57 percent. The Panthers took advantage of sloppy play from the Crusaders, converting 22 turnovers into 26-points.
The Crusaders are now 3-3 on the season and hit the road again on Tuesday to take on Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs Georgia.