TIGERVILLE, S.C. – Bryson Robertson scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as Young Harris College pulled away from North Greenville University for an 88-80 men's basketball victory Thursday (Feb. 23) evening at Hayes Gymnasium.
The Mountain Lions, who are in the candidacy year one of their move to NCAA Division II, ended their season with a six-game win streak as they finish the season at 22-4, which was a 17-game improvement over last season's 5-21 mark. North Greenville fell to 12-14.
"This has been a remarkable season," said Young Harris head coach Pete Herrmann. "This team has set the bar for the future with the number of wins and losses. I would like to thank everyone that gave us tremendous support during the season."
Next season the Mountain Lions begin play in the Peach Belt Conference, which is one of the top Division II leagues in the nation.
"I'm really looking forward to keep developing as we go to new challenges," said Herrmann. "We will have a chance to compete for a conference regular-season championship next season."
With the game tied at 40 at the half, Young Harris scored 16 of the first 21 points in the second half as they took an 11-point lead (56-45) on a jumper by Robertson, who scored 11 points during the run, with 14:24 to play. The Crusaders battled back to tie the game at 62 on a dunk by Chris Dean with 9:50 to play; however, the Mountain Lions never relinquished the lead as Steve Viterbo nailed a three-pointer 20 seconds later to retake a 65-62 lead.
North Greenville got a close as one point (74-73) after Paul Harrison's layup with 5:09 to play; however, Young Harris scored 10 unanswered points over the next three minutes to take a 84-73 lead on Robertson dunk with 2:15 remaining to seal the win.
"It was a terrific game," said Herrmann. "Both teams played hard and extremely well. When you only turn the ball over six times, you are going to have a chance to win. We were very efficient offensively tonight and we make stops defensively down the stretch."
Robertson finished with a double double as he pulled down 10 rebounds while Vince Martin nearly had one with 20 points and nine assists. Frank Adams finished with 17 points and six assists while Malcolm Jackson contributed 12 points. Harrison led the Crusaders as he nearly had a triple double with 18 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists. Jason Wray tallied 15 points while Zack Shields and Chris Dean each added 14.