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BELMONT — A major objective for the Barton College men’s basketball team the final two weeks of the regular season is to lock up a top-four finish and earn a home game in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas tournament.
To accomplish the feat, head coach Ron Lievense emphasizes the Bulldogs “must steal some wins” on the road.
Barton ends the regular season with four conference road tests and, in its first assignment Wednesday night, posted a resounding 94-76 triumph against Belmont Abbey.
Occupants of fourth place in the 10-team league, the Bulldogs improved to 10-5 in the league and to 14-11 overall.
The Crusaders tumbled to 5-9 and 10-14, respectively.
Barton placed five scorers in double figures, led by junior Bobby Stenborg with 21 points. Isaiah Buck-Lowman, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, stuffed in 18 points, sophomores Michael Boykin and Jeff Gordon 14 each and junior Matt Woods 10. Boykin and Gordon each collected six rebounds as Barton won the backboards battle 36-34.
Boykin enjoyed a splendid all-around game that included eight assists.
The Bulldogs shot for 57-percent accuracy in forging a 49-40 halftime lead. They improved to 58.6 percent the second half and, for the game, shot at a 57.8-percent clip. Barton knocked down 6 of 10 shots from 3-point range the second half.
The Crusaders connected on 30 of 69 shots from the field for 43.5-percent accuracy and were outscored 24-21 from 3-point land.
Pacing the Crusaders were DeQuan Abrom with 18 points, Jacob Wilson with 16 and Deion Lane with 11.