Surging Bulldogs triumph at Mount Olive

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


MOUNT OLIVE — All five starters scored in double figures to lead the surging Barton College men’s basketball team to a 91-79 conquest of host archrival University of Mount Olive on Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs of head coach Ron Lievense also dominated the rebounding 38-22 to record their fifth consecutive win and vault to 3-0 in road tests against NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas rivals.

In a showdown for third place, Barton climbed to 7-2 in the league and to 14-5 overall. The Trojans dropped to 5-3 and 6-11, respectively.

The rebounding advantage and committing a mere 10 turnovers helped the Bulldogs offset Mount Olive’s 36-24 scoring advantage from 3-point range.

Senior guard Michael Boykin triggered the Barton offense with 20 points, while sophomore Jake Kakar bucketed 15, senior guard Zach Grant 12 and 6-foot-4 senior Bobby Stenborg and 6-8 sophomore Blake Burdack each stuffed in 10 points. Kakar and Stenborg each pulled down nine rebounds.

Lievense summoned just four players off the bench, and they produced 21 points.

Barton again shot well from the floor, sinking 37-of-62 attempts for 59.7-percent accuracy. The Bulldogs connected on 8-of-17 tries from 3-point land for 47.1 percent.

The Trojans were accurate on 30-of-64 shots from the floor for 46.9 percent and went 12 for 28 from beyond the 3-point arc for 42.9 percent. Mount Olive committed but six turnovers.

Barton forged a 43-35 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs’ road climb becomes steeper Saturday when it visits conference foe Emmanuel (Georgia) College. The Lions stand undefeated in seven conference tests and trail only Belmont Abbey (8-0).