Tigerville, S.C. – North Greenville fended off a late Pioneers comeback on Thursday night to earn a 62-55 non-conference win.
The win snapped a two game losing skid for the Crusaders and improved the team’s record to 3-5 overall. Karen Donehew led the Crusaders with 13-points while collecting nine rebounds and a game high three blocked shots. Elizabeth Trentham Briana Mann each had 10-points, rounding out the double-figure scorers for the Crusaders. Mann added 10-rebounds to account for her first collegiate double double.
The Crusaders never trailed on Tuesday, jumping out to a nine-point lead with an 11-2 run to open the game. A Briana Mann jumper with 8:27 left in the second quarter extended the North Greenville lead to 11-points, the largest of the game, but the Pioneers scored four unanswered points to cut the lead to 21-14. The Crusaders would lead by eight, 31-23 at halftime.
Jessica Garlington would give NGU its biggest lead of the game with a pair of three pointers in the opening minutes of the second half. The 37-23 lead dwindled late in the third quarter as the Pioneers hit a jumper at the buzzer to cut the NGU advantage to seven points.
Tusculum hung around for the rest of the game as the Crusaders fended off another comeback attempt late in the frame. Ayano Shelton and Karen Donehew would both knock down free throws in the final minute of the game to rebuild a North Greenville lead that had been cut to just five points. Another free throw and a layup from Trentham would end the Pioneers dreams of a comeback victory.
The win on Thursday night was a good tune-up for the Crusaders who return to Conference Carolinas play on Saturday against Mount Olive. North Greenville will tipoff with the Trojans at 2pm in Mount Olive, North Carolina.