by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – Barton College started the second half on a 14-2 run to take its biggest lead of the night, 40-22, then survived a barrage of eight 3-pointers in the final frame from Erskine College to claim a 70-61 Conference Carolinas men's basketball victory Saturday in Wilson Gymnasium.
Isaiah Buck-Lowman scored a team-high 15 points and added a game-high nine rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (4-4, 2-0). Jeff Gordon contributed 13 points and seven boards for BC, and Bobby Stenborg chipped in 11.
Erskine (3-6, 1-2) was paced by a game-high 21 points from Jordan Watson, who connected on five of six attempts from 3-point range. Blake Maness added three 3-pointers in scoring 11 for the Flying Fleet.
Trailing by 13 points with 3:09 to go, Erskine rallied to within five points at 66-61 on a 3-pointer by Watson with 39 seconds left. However, Buck-Lowman made two free throws, then assisted a layup by Zach Grant by starting the fast-break after a defensive rebound on a missed 3-pointer by the Flying Fleet.
Barton made 15 of 19 attempts from the free throw line (79 percent), including 11 of 12 in the second half (92 percent). That effort helped the Bulldogs offset some of the damage done by Erskine from the 3-point line, where it was 12 of 22 on the night (54 percent).
Erskine never led after the game's' first two minutes, but did come back from an early six-point deficit to tie the game at 14-all on a free throw by Austin Venable. However, Barton went on a 12-3 run before the Fleet made a late 3-pointer to send the game to halftime trailing by six, 26-20. The Bulldogs then scored the first nine points of the second half to open up a 35-20 lead just four minutes into the period.
BC enjoyed a 42-31 rebounding advantage in the contest and forced four more turnovers than the Fleet (15 to 11). Barton shot 43 percent from the field (26 of 60) while Erskine shot 39 percent (22 of 57).
Barton will continue its four-game homestand with a league matchup against Emmanuel College next Saturday afternoon.