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MOUNT OLIVE — After losing leads and the game in each of its first three outings to start the season, the Barton College men’s basketball team found a second-half surge Friday in toppling Virginia Union 74-66 in the opening game of the Mount Olive Pickle Classic.
The Bulldogs limited Virginia Union to just 35.5 percent shooting after halftime and pulled away in the final seven minutes for their first win.
Junior transfer Bobby Stenborg led four Bulldogs in double figures with 13 points while freshman Blake Burdack had 12 points. Sophomores Jeff Gordon and Isaiah Buck-Lowman each scored 10 points for Barton, which shot 46.7 percent (21 of 45) for the game.
The Bulldogs, who trailed 35-34 at halftime, used an 8-0 run after failing behind 54-52 midway through the second half. Gordon made six free throws sandwiched around an offensive rebound and putback by freshman Isaiah Reddish in the run.
Virginia Union (1-3) cut the lead to 65-63 with 1:41 to play in the game but a Gordon jumper and a layup by sophomore Michael Boykin after a steal by junior Matt Woods offered Barton some breathing room.
The Bulldogs will face St. Augustine’s at 5 p.m. in Saturday’s action at the Pickle Classic in Kornegay Arena on the University of Mount Olive campus.