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BANNER ELK — Thirty-two points and 11 rebounds from Isaiah Reddish was not enough to stave off Lees-McRae on Saturday evening as the lead for the Barton College men’s basketball team eroded late in regulation in an eventual 112-106 overtime loss.
With five minutes remaining in the second half, Barton (5-10), which dipped to 3-5 in NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas, led 81-75. At that point, the Bobcats (11-3, 4-2 CC) began a 7-0 run to take back the lead and begin a final few minutes when neither team could find the crucial basket. With regulation over, the game entered overtime in a tie at 97.
Much of the game was an evenly-matched battle and the final statistics reflected that. Barton shot 54.3% from the field, while Lees-McRae tallied 51.4%. The two teams tied 15 times before the Bobcats all but closed it out on a 8-2 run to start overtime. The lead did not change hands again.
In the first half, the Bulldogs stayed just ahead of Lees-McRae, finding an advantage by as many as 12 points with five minutes remaining before halftime. But in the final minutes of the first half, that lead diminished to just three points — setting up the close game that would play out in the second half.
Andrew Gardner led the way for the Bobcats, scoring 22 points, while Jason Saintizaire pitched in the same number in 31 minutes off the bench.
The Bulldogs inability to close out the game late continues a trend that has hampered them lately. Barton has won just two of its last nine contests, including a pair of overtime decisions in a row.
Barton hosts North Greenville in another conference matchup on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Reddish 32, Worley 14, Hudson 4, Gordon 19, Robinson 4, Savage 5, Boykin 10, Elmore 12, Burdack 6.
Gardner 22, Hicks 11, Kimble 19, Williams 7, Dollar 10, Haynes 17, Morgan 4, Saintizaire 22.
Score by period:
Barton 52 45 9 — 106
Lees-McRae 49 48 15 — 112