by Benny Benton
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The Barton College men's basketball team closed out its regular-season on a strong note Friday night, posting a 94-76 road win over University of Mount Olive at Kornegay Arena.
Junior Bobby Stenborg poured in 27 points and pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds to help the Bulldogs earn a season split between the two teams and leave both sides with identical 12-6 Conference Carolinas records.
After all the tiebreakers were applied, a coin toss was still needed to decide seeding for next week's league tournament. Barton won that as well, and will be the No. 3 seed, while Mount Olive will be No. 4. BC will host No. 6 seed North Greenville University on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Wilson Gym.
Despite the dominant victory over a regionally-ranked opponent and its biggest rival, Barton's win was muted by a serious injury to a UMO cheerleader with 14:56 remaining in the contest. The game was delayed for more than 20 minutes while she was evaluated on-site and then taken to a local hospital.
Whether impacted solely by the long delay or shaken by the injury to their school mate, Mount Olive (17-11) returned to the court ice cold, missing their first seven shots and going nearly five minutes without a point. During that span, Barton (16-12) turned a seven-point game into a 72-53 advantage.
The Bulldogs had already taken momentum in the game, coming out of halftime hot. Leading by two at the break, 46-44, after overcoming an eight-point first-half deficit, Barton made five of its first seven shots in opening up a nine-point cushion at 60-51 just before the injury delay.
Isaiah Buck-Lowman scored seven of his 20 points over that span. He also collected eight rebounds on the night for BC. Jeff Gordon and Matt Woods both chipped in 11 points, and Woods matched a career-high with eight assists.
Mount Olive was paced by 21 points from Jamaal Matin. Alan Treakle added 14 points, and Cam Robinson had seven rebounds.
Barton shot 59 percent from the field in the game (37 of 63) compared to 43 percent for the Trojans (30 of 69). The disparity was even greater in the second half, as BC made 60 percent (18 of 30) while UMO made just 37 percent (13 of 35).
The Bulldogs also doubled up Mount Olive on the glass, outrebounding the Trojans 46 to 23.
BC will now turn its attention towards the conference tournament and Tuesday's opponent, North Greenville. The Bulldogs and Crusaders split two regular-season meetings, both winning on their home floor. Barton lost 86-84 in overtime at NGU, and won 75-63 in Wilson.