No. 11 Bulldogs surge past Bobcats in second half

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The No. 11 Barton College men's basketball team closed out the first half on a 20-6 run, and outscored Lees-McRae College by a 57-39 margin in the second half en route to a 94-63 win in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

Barton (6-0, 2-0 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 45.3 percent on the night, including a blistering 61.8 percent in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (0-6, 0-3 CC) to a clip of 43.1 percent from the floor in the contest. The Bulldogs won the battle on the glass by a 47-29 margin, including a 22-8 advantage on the offensive boards, while converting 25 Bobcat miscues into 35 points.

Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 16 points and four assists, posting a 5-for-8 night from the floor with a pair of triples. Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) chipped in 14 points with a 6-of-13 showing from the field, as Jeremiah Henry (Semmes, Ala.) added a team-high eight rebounds.

Jon Hart led the way for Barton with a double-double, posting game-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds, as Brian McNair and Zach Faircloth added 13 and 12 markers, respectively. Gerald Boston chipped a game-high eight assists, while Jarrett Jernigan posted eight points and eight boards off the bench.

The Bobcats stormed out of the opening tip in the first half, taking an early 7-2 lead at the 17:07 following a 5-0 solo spurt by Sepokas. Barton responded with a 12-2 run, claiming a 14-9 advantage on a layup by Aaron Brown with 14:36 left in the half. After the Bulldogs took a 17-12 lead following a Jernigan lay-in, Lees-McRae responded with a 6-0 spurt to claim an 18-17 advantage on a Charles Clarke (Orlando, Fla.) jumper with 9:51 remaining in the period.

Barton answered once again with a 20-6 surge, reclaiming the lead and stretching the gap to 37-24 on a late lay-in by Jernigan to take the 13-point advantage into the intermission. The Bulldogs carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period on an 11-5 spurt to push the lead to 48-29 following a highlight reel dunk by Hart at the 17:15 mark.

Lamot and Sepokas would help the Bobcats cut the lead to 55-42 on the heels of a 13-7 spurt, knocking down back-to-back three-pointers with Sepokas' triple coming with 13:15 to go in the game. Barton answered once again with a 17-6 surge, pushing the lead to 72-48 following a dunk by Chris Flemmings at the 7:55 mark.

The Bulldogs would hold on from there, stretching the lead to as many as 35 points as the Bobcats finished the night strong, closing out the contest with a 7-3 run over the final two minutes.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Coker College at 4 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium to continue their conference schedule.

- LMC -