by Doug Page
BRISTOL, TENN. – A combined 54 points from Jordan Floyd and Je'Don Young allowed King University to hand the Barton College Bulldogs a 95-82 loss on Friday in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action.
The Bulldogs (11-10, 7-4) had a slow start against the Tornado, shooting just 33.3 percent in the first half, while King (12-8, 7-3) avenged a loss at the hands of BC earlier this season by limiting the Bulldogs to 30 first-half points and trading buckets in a high scoring second half.
Junior Bobby Stenborg finished the game with a team-high 19 points for Barton on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, while sophomore Isaiah Buck-Lowman tallied 18 points and hit a pair of threes for the Bulldogs. Junior Matt Woods recorded 15 points, including a trio of shots from downtown for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Michael Boykin notched nine points before fouling out of the game in the second half for Barton.
Floyd dropped a game-high 30 points off the bench for King, going 11-of-17 from the field and 3-of-7 from downtown. Young tallied 11 of his 21 points at the charity stripe for the Tornado, making 11-of-17 attempts while going 6-of-16 from the field. Dontae Campbell also added 15 points off the bench, going 5-of-5 from the floor for King.
King opened the contest by recording the first six points following a Mack Owens tip-in with 17:17 left in the half. Stenborg would stop the run and get the Bulldogs onto the board with a pair of free-throws to make it 6-2. With more shots missing the mark rather than hitting the mark with time winding down, things started to get chippy on the court. Following a scuffle between Buck-Lowman and Owens that resulted in a pair of fouls and a technical to Owens, Woods made good at the line on a pair of shots for BC to trim the deficit to 6-4. The Bulldogs would make their first shot of the half with 14:53 remaining as Stenborg hit a jumper to knot the score 6-6 and snap a 0-for-6 drought from the floor.
With the score even at 8-8, King went on a commanding 14-0 run to up its lead to 22-8. Freshman David Campbell would end the run momentarily by going 1-for-2 at the line. Floyd answered almost immediately for the Tornado, draining a three to make it 25-9. Woods got BC into double-digits in the half with a jumper at the 8:21 mark that cut the deficit to 25-11. Junior Zach Grant trimmed the King lead to 11 with a jumper at the 5:14 mark, leading to a timeout to be called by the Tornado.
Trailing 47-34 early in the second half, Buck-Lowman started a run for BC by converting a layup with 17:40 left on the clock. Woods drained a three for the Bulldogs followed by a layup from Stenborg which trimmed the King lead to just six points with 16:49 left to play. Barton stayed on the offensive, making it a four-point game until Campbell answered with a three to end the run and put King back up 50-43.
Floyd recorded back-to-back buckets for the Tornado to put the lead back to double-digits (64-53) with 11:34 left in the half. The Bulldogs worked to get the deficit back down to five after Woods hit a three from downtown to make it 75-70, only to see Campbell answer with a three of his own for King.
Barton would cut the King lead down to as few as seven points with time winding down, but the Tornado did their part by making shots at the free-throw line. Stenborg tallied the final bucket for the Bulldogs with 26 seconds remaining as he trimmed the gap to 93-82. Mike Salomon hit a pair of shots at the line with 19 ticks left to seal the 95-82 victory for King.
Barton finished the game 29-of-63 (46 percent) from the field and 6-of-16 from downtown, while King went 32-of-65 (49.2 percent) from the field and 7-of-27 from downtown. The Tornado finished the contest with a 45-32 advantage in rebounds and turned 11 Barton turnovers into 19 points. King led by as many as 16 points in the contest and tallied 15 second-chance points to go along with 42 points in the paint.
Barton heads to Lees-McRae on Saturday to face the Bobcats at 4 p.m. before returning home for its final two regular-season contests against Limestone (Jan. 31) and Southern Wesleyan (Feb. 3).