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The Barton College men’s basketball team will play its final regular-season game Saturday but the Bulldogs are hoping to book a return trip to Wilson Gymnasium.
Barton currently sits in fifth place in the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas standings but the Bulldogs are just a half-game back of the team they will face Saturday, Southern Wesleyan University. Barton, 13-13 overall and 11-8 in league games, would force at least a tie for fourth place — and a home game for the Conference Carolinas tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday, March 3.
Southern Wesleyan (15-11, 11-7 CC) still has a game Tuesday, Feb. 25, against next-to-last Erskine College. Lees-McRae (17-9, 10-8 CC) is also in the mix with two games to play.
The Bulldogs have risen from the bottom three teams in the standings with five straight wins, including Wednesday’s 84-61 win over archrival Mount Olive at Wilson Gym to complete the season sweep. The Trojans (15-11, 9-9 CC) could also move up into the fourth spot.
Saturday’s game, which follows the women’s game that starts at 2 p.m., is Senior Day for the Bulldogs’ three seniors — Michael Boykin, Isaiah Buck-Lowman and Jeff Gordon. The trio has combined to play in 325 games over the last four seasons, averaging 23.9 minutes per game.
The Lady Bulldogs (20-5, 17-3 CC) are still in the chase for the league crown but trail Belmont Abbey (24-2, 19-1 CC) by two games with two left to play. The Barton women still have one last regular-season game Tuesday at Converse College but the Valkyries as well as Southern Wesleyan are tied for last place in Conference Carolinas. So, a Barton loss to either would be a huge upset.
There are four Lady Bulldogs that will be honored on Senior Day — Summer Baer, Madison Jones, Kia Morris and Hannah McGrory.