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ETTRICK, Va.— The Barton College men’s basketball team will enter 2019 on a two-game losing streak.
Playing on the final day of 2018, the Bulldogs struggled defensively at Virginia State University, as the Trojans unleashed a torrent of 58 points in the second half to doom Barton to a 95-78 setback.
Barton of Conference Carolinas dropped to 9-5, while Virginia State of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association improved to 9-3.
Five players reached double figures in scoring for Virginia State, led by the 17 points of Jalen Jackson. Two more netted nine points as the Bulldogs allowed Virginia State to shoot 31 of 59 from the field for 49.3-percent accuracy. As much as it struggled on defense, Barton found the shots it wanted on the offensive end. The Bulldogs connected on 31 of 59 attempts, good for a 52.5-percent clip.
However, the visitors did not help their cause from the free-throw line, making just 40 percent of their efforts in a 8-for-20 showing. Conversely, Virginia State was 15 of 19 from the foul line and made 12 of 27 attempts from beyond the 3-point line.
Sophomore Isaiah Reddish had 19 points off the bench to pace the Bulldogs, with junior Michael Boykin and sophomore Jake Kakar contributing 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs led for the final time on a Reddish layup with 16:38 remaining in the first half. Barton trailed 37-29 at halftime and stared at a 53-40 deficit following Jackson’s layup with 16:41 to go. From there, Boykin, Kakar and Reddish attempted to bring Barton back into contention, slicing the deficit to five at 66-61 on junior Jeff Gordon’s layup with 9:09 to go.
But powered by the 3-point shot, Virginia State went on an 11-2 run to push the lead back out to 14 at the 7:43 mark. The Bulldogs brought the lead within seven on senior Bobby Stenborg’s trey with 4:30 to go, but could get no closer.
Barton was outrebounded 34-28, including a 13-8 disparity on the offensive glass.
The Bulldogs are back in Conference Carolinas play Wednesday, hosting Lees-McRae in Wilson Gym at 7:30 p.m.