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The locker room of the Barton College men’s basketball team was buzzing with excitement for sophomore Isaiah Reddish.
Reddish had been struggling recently, but against Limestone College on Saturday in Wilson Gym, Reddish poured in a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds en route to a 89-83 Conference Carolinas win for the Bulldogs,who improved to 15-7 overall and 7-4 in league play.
“Everybody knows how much potential Reddish got, it just showed tonight and comes out in spurts — now we just need for it to get consistent,” teammate Michael Boykin, who notched 20 points, said.
Reddish entered play with only 29 points in his last five games combined. Reddish said his teammates kept telling him to go hard and attack to overcome the slump. He listened, finishing with a career high in points. The 13 rebounds match Reddish’s career high.
“The last couple of games I been really struggling, going to the boards and I haven’t been attacking,” Reddish said. “My coaches and teammates kept talking to me and believing in me and pushing me everyday in practice — that’s what really helped my confidence.”
Boykin finished with his fourth 20-point game of the season. Boykin was motivated before the game because his old high school coach, Heath Vandevender, and the current varsity basketball team at Fayetteville Trinity Christian were in attendance to watch him play.
“I haven’t seen most of them in awhile so I wanted to show off a little bit,” Boykin said. “A little personal vendetta.”
With Barton leading by six for muchof the second half, Boykin closed play with six of the last 10 points, including a layup with 35 seconds left to put the Bulldogs up 87-81. Boykin said that was the nail in the coffin, because he knew the team would hit free throws.
The Bulldogs were effective at the line, going 26 of 29. Barton also had two others in double figures with senior Bobby Stenborg’s 11 points and 10 from sophomore Blake Burdack.
The Saints (12-9, 6-5 CC) had three players in double figures with Jaquan Sims, Kenny Hairston and TJ Shepherd. Simms put in a team-high 19 points, Hairston had 16 points and Simms dropped in 17.
The Bulldogs will leave the confines of Wilson Gym to play Belmont Abbey on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.