by Benny Benton
TIGERVILLE, S.C. – Barton College senior Daniel Westbrook poured in a career-high 27 points on Saturday to lead the Bulldogs in a 90-78 Conference Carolinas men's basketball victory at North Greenville University.
Westbrook, a hometown graduate of Hunt High School, scored 14 points of those points in the second half as Barton (16-6, 11-3) took control of a game that was tied at the half, 39-all.
The Bulldogs shot 65 percent in the second half (17 of 26) and 55 percent for the game from the field (35 of 63).
More than half of Westbrook's 27 points came from behind the 3-point line, where the entire Barton team had struggled in recent games. Westbrook went 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, and the team made 8-of-17 (47 percent) from that distance.
There were 10 ties and 12 lead changes in an extremely close first half before North Greenville (8-14, 3-12) scored the first basket of the second half to move in front 41-39.
However, a dunk by Miguel Brown sparked an 11-0 run for the Bulldogs. Michael Boykin scored consecutive baskets during the spurt, Matt Woods added a layup, and Westbrook capped the stretch with a 3-pointer that put BC up by nine, 50-41.
Two of the baskets were created off of steals by Woods. The Crusaders turned the ball over just five times in the first half, but gave it away nine times in the final period.
North Greenville closed to within five on two occasions, the last one with 15:50 left on a dunk by Jai Jencks. However, a jumper by Brown stopped the Crusaders' momentum, and Tyler Thayer followed with a 3-pointer that put Barton back up by double-digits again.
In addition to the scoring from Westbrook, the Bulldogs received 18 points from R.J. Claypool, 12 from Boykin, and 10 points each from Woods and Brown.
NGU was paced by 28 points from Miguel Cartagena, who matched Westbrook with five made 3-pointers. Justin Dotson added 14 points for the Crusaders.
The contest was the first on a three-game road swing for the Bulldogs. Barton will visit Misenheimer, N.C., on Tuesday night, hoping to avenge last Wednesday's 109-90 loss to Pfeiffer University, the nation's highest scoring team.
The Falcons (20-3) moved into a virtual tie with Limestone College after the Saints lost at King University on Saturday. Barton is just one game behind both teams in the league standings.