by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – Barton College sophomore Isaiah Buck-Lowman scored a team-high 16 points, including the go-ahead basket on a tip-in with 4.6 seconds to play, as the Bulldogs edged Belmont Abbey College in both teams' Conference Carolinas opener on Wednesday night in Wilson Gymnasium.
Buck-Lowman, a forward from Woodbridge, Va., added a game-high 10 rebounds to collect his second career double-double.
His play helped Barton (3-4, 1-0) overcome a 28-point scoring night by Belmont Abbey sophomore DeQuan Abrom, the league's leading scorer.
In a tight contest that featured 12 ties and 19 lead changes, Barton led 70-66 with just under five minutes to play when Abrom went on a personal 5-0 run. His jumper with 4:03 to go gave the Crusaders (4-4, 0-1) their final lead of the night.
Buck-Lowman answered by scoring the next four points for Barton on a pair of tough contested layups, and Michael Boykin followed with another layup that put the Bulldogs up 76-71 with 48 seconds remaining.
Jacob Wilson quickly cut the margin back to two at 76-74 on a 3-pointer, and Abrom produced a steal off the in-bounds and layup to tie the game again at 76-all with 34 seconds to go.
With the shot clock down to four seconds and the game clock down to eight, Matt Woods took a 3-pointer from the left wing that sailed long, but Buck-Lowman caught the ball with one hand and tossed it into the basket in the same motion from about four feet away to put Barton into the lead.
Ben Ferguson fired up a contested 3-pointer with one second remaining for the Crusaders, but the ball fell short of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Buck-Lowman scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and sophomore Jeff Gordon contributed 10 of his 14 total points in the final period. Boykin paced Barton early in the game, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the opening half. Freshman Isaiah Reddish helped the Bulldogs rally from an eight-point first-half deficit, scoring seven points in the period, and finished the night with nine.
In addition to Abrom's 28 points, the Crusaders received 16 points and team-high six rebounds from Wilson.
Belmont Abbey shot nearly 52 percent in the game compared to just 44 percent for Barton. However, the Bulldogs enjoyed a 43-36 edge in rebounding, including 17-9 on the offensive glass, and forced six more turnovers than BAC (16 to 10).
The contest was the first in a four-game homestand for the Bulldogs. Barton will return to action on Saturday when it hosts Erskine College in a 4 p.m. league matchup.