by Doug Page
CENTRAL, S.C. – The Barton College men's basketball team used a hot start on Monday to snap a two-game losing streak, defeating Southern Wesleyan University 92-68 at Historic Tysinger Gymnasium in Conference Carolinas action. Junior Bobby Stenborg shot 83 percent from the field en route to a career-high 29 points for Barton.
The Bulldogs (10-8, 6-2) sit in second place in the conference and one game ahead of Lees-McRae and King, who are both 5-3. Southern Wesleyan (2-15, 1-7) struggled out of the gate offensively, shooting just 31 percent in the first half and 37.1 percent for the game.
Stenborg finished the game 10-of-12 from the field, including a 7-for-8 effort at the free-throw line for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Isaiah Buck-Lowman added 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for BC, while junior Matt Woods tallied 12 points off the bench for Barton. Sophomore Michael Boykin rounded-out the double-digit scoring for BC with a 10-point performance.
The Warriors were paced by DJ Dobson's 14 points and 8-for-8 effort at the charity stripe. Zalan Richards added 12 points and nine boards for SWU, while Jalen Lowery tallied 11 points for the Warriors.
Buck-Lowman started the game by recording the first six points for Barton, who took a 6-2 lead less than two minutes into play. BC upped its lead to 9-2 after Stenborg connected on his first three-ball of the night with 18:08 remaining in the half. The hot start for the Bulldogs continued as sophomore Jeff Gordon got onto the scoresheet with a layup, making it 11-3. Gordon would later give Barton its first double-digit lead of the night by hitting a pair of free-throws to make it 21-11.
The Warriors trimmed the BC lead to 25-17 after Dobson made a pair of shots at the charity stripe with just over 11 minutes left to play in the half. The defining stretch of the game would occur with 7:29 left in the half as Stenborg made a pair of free-throws for Barton, who would go on a 13-0 run over the next 3:59 to stretch the lead over SWU to 43-21. In that stretch, the Warriors would go 0-for-6 from the floor and go 4:30 without a point. Gavin Sears would end the drought for SWU with a layup to make it 43-23. The Warriors started a rally, trimming the deficit to 43-27 after Justice McCullough hit a jumper with 2:47 to play.
Barton would end the half on a 7-2 run to take a 50-29 lead into the half. BC shot 16-of-34 (47.1 percent) from the floor in the half and made 17 of its 19 chances at the charity stripe. The Warriors connected on just nine shots in the half while failing to hit a three, going 0-for-10.
The opening 3:44 of the second half would be the Stenborg show, as the Garner, N.C. native scored nine straight points for Barton to up the Bulldogs' lead to 59-29. After a quick 4-0 rally for SWU trimmed the BC lead to 71-49, Woods drained a three-ball to put BC back up by 25 points with 11:03 left to play. Freshman Isaiah Reddish pushed the Barton lead to 31 with 5:58 left to play with a layup following an offensive rebound on a missed layup by Buck-Lowman.
Buck-Lowman registered the final basket of the night for BC with his three-ball with 3:21 remaining made it 91-60. The Warriors would do their best to chip away at the Barton lead with time winding-down as Javon Hunter started an 8-1 run for SWU to end the game. Junior Chris Cook added the last point of the night for BC at the free-throw line with 2:00 left to play. Bryson Williams would beat the buzzer, taking a three with two ticks remaining to make it 92-68.
The 24-point margin of victory is the largest this season for BC after the Bulldogs beat Emmanuel at home by 17 points on Dec. 9, 2017.
Barton shot 50.7 percent in the game after shooting 54.5 percent as a team in the second half. The Bulldogs went 4-of-10 from downtown and 20-of-23 at the free-throw line, while SWU finished 23-of-62 from the floor and 2-of-18 from downtown. The Warriors did go 20-of-22 at the charity stripe but committed 16 turnovers on the night, which lead to 18 points for BC. The Bulldogs held a 35-28 edge in rebounds, while SWU held the 17-10 edge in second-chance points.
Barton wraps up its three-game road trip by heading to Emmanuel College on Jan. 20 for a 4 p.m. tip-off against the Lions.