Strong first-half pushes Bulldogs to 95-78 victory against Emmanuel

Sophomore Michael Boykin scored a season-high 24 points for the Bulldogs in a 95-78 win at home on Saturday against Conference Carolinas foe Emmanuel College. | Photo by Matt Proseus
Sophomore Michael Boykin scored a season-high 24 points for the Bulldogs in a 95-78 win at home on Saturday against Conference Carolinas foe Emmanuel College. | Photo by Matt Proseus

by Doug Page

WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College men's basketball team shot 52.5 percent from the floor in the first-half on Saturday, tallying 53 points en route to a 95-78 win against Emmanuel College in Conference Carolinas action. Barton sophomore Michael Boykin scored a season-high 24 points for the Bulldogs and paced four BC players who recorded double-digit performances.

The Bulldogs (5-4, 3-0) went 36-of-71 from the field on the afternoon to remain perfect in conference play and win their third consecutive game to move above .500. Emmanuel (3-4, 1-2) struggled from the floor, shooting just 36.1 percent but connected on eight three-pointers.

Boykin finished the game 8-of-17 from the field, including a 7-for-9 effort from the free-throw line for Barton, while sophomore Isaiah Buck-Lowman added 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Jeff Gordon would also notch a double-double for BC by tallying 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Freshman Black Burdack scored 10 points off the bench for Barton before fouling out in the second-half.

The Lions were paced by 22 points from Emerson McClung, who finished 7-of-13 from the field and 4-of-6 from downtown. Kendrick Colvin added 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench, while Austin Greene tallied 10 points for Emmanuel.

Emmanuel would hit the opening bucket of the contest as McClung connected on a jumper less than a minute into play. BC quickly evened the score following a layup by Boykin and would jump in front of the Lions 5-2 as Boykin drained a three after taking a pass from junior Bobby Stenborg. Burdack capped-off a 9-0 run for the Bulldogs with a layup to stretch the lead to 18-5 with 14:50 left in the half.

Greene ended the scoring drought for EC with a three-ball, trimming the deficit to 18-8. Freshman Jake Kakar upped the BC lead to 23-9 following his lone three in the contest. Gordon kept the offense flowing for the Bulldogs, who widened their lead 18 with 10:18 left in the half. Emmanuel cut the gap to 31-18 after a pair of free-throws from Kurtis Robinson and later closed the deficit to 12 points with McClung sinking a three.

With time winding down in the half, Buck-Lowman connected on a pair of free-throws to give BC a 51-31 advantage and its largest lead of the half. Despite going just 2-of-7 from downtown in the half, Barton went 21-of-40 from the field, while Emmanuel went 12-of-39 from the floor and 4-of-11 from three-point range.

Stenborg opened the second-half for the Bulldogs by earning a pair of shots at the charity stripe, hitting both to stretch the lead to 55-34. The Lions would get some things going offensively as they trimmed a 57-35 deficit to 57-41 with a 6-0 run. Emmanuel then pulled to within 61-47 following a three by McClung, leading to a timeout by Barton.

Holding a 76-64 lead, Barton used a commanding 13-0 run to widen its advantage to 89-64 as Gordon hit a jumper with 4:39 remaining in the contest. The Lions ended a 4:43 scoreless drought as Greene hit a pair of free-throws with 4:11 left to play in the half. The highlight of the contest, at least for those in attendance, came with 1:51 left on the clock as junior Matt Woods drained a three from half court with the shot clock expiring after BC had just two seconds to inbound the ball from its own backcourt.

Redshirt Freshman Shane Evans capped the scoring for Barton by going 1-of-2 at the charity stripe with 10 seconds left in the contest. Emmanuel finished the scoring in the contest as Sam Turner made a pair of free-throws with nine seconds left with BC securing the 17-point victory.

The Bulldogs went 36-of-71 from the field in the contest and 3-of-16 from three-point range, while Emmanuel went 26-of-72 from the floor and 18-of-31 from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Lions 56-37 but were forced into 18 turnovers as Emmanuel scored 22 points off BC miscues. The Lions also tallied 12 steals with Colvin recording four. Barton dominated play inside, outscoring the Lions 58-34 in the paint with 14 second-chance points.

Barton hosts UNC Pembroke on Thursday night as BC looks to avenge a 94-88 loss to the Braves, who have won each of their last two outings, including a 90-72 against the University of Mount Olive.