Tigerville, S.C.—Nine players found the scoring column for the Crusaders, including four in double figures, helping North Greenville past Lees-McRae 73-56 in a crucial Conference Carolinas matchup, Monday night in Hayes Gymnasium.
NGU trailed briefly in the first half when Lees-McRae took a quick 11-6 lead with 17 minutes left in the first. TImisty Nelson would tie the score at 11-11 with a pair of free throws, wiping out the Bobcat deficit. The score would be tied once more at 13-13 before North Greenville collected the lead for good.
Jaquaza Barrino would give NGU the lead with two of her 12 points, to give the Crusaders a 15-13 lead. The Bobcats would keep the lead to single digits until the final minutes of the first period after NGU capped the half with a 10-2 run. North Greenville would take a 38-27 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
The Crusaders would continue their solid play as the two teams came out for the second period. NGU improved almost 20 points in shooting percentage from the first half to the second, shooting an impressive 57.1% from the field. NGU also took advantage of 21 Bobcat turnovers, which amounted to 24 points for the Crusaders.
North Greenville would lead by as many as 14 twice during the second half. Its biggest lead came before the final buzzer when two free throws from Alisha Hope gave the Crusaders a 17-point advantage. Hope finished as one of two players with 16 points to lead NGU, the other being Timisty Nelson who finished with 16 points.
Others in double figures for North Greenville were Barrino who finished with 12, and Emily Wampler who had 10. Wampler was 3-5 from beyond the three-point arch. Alisha Hope led NGU with nine rebounds While Ciara Anderson provided a boost off the bench with four points, an assist, and a steal.
The win improved NGU to 8-15 overall, and 4-11 in league play. The win over the Bobcats keeps NGU in the lead for the final Conference Carolinas playoff spot. The Crusaders can take a huge step toward the playoffs with a win against Converse College on February 19th. North Greenville will tipoff with the Valkyries at 7pm in Spartanburg, South Carolina.