WILSON, N.C. – Seniors Charles Gamble and Eddie Kershaw made the most of their final regular-season home game for Barton College Saturday night, scoring 22 and 19 points, respectively, to lead the Bulldogs to an 84-73 victory over visiting Coker College.
Kershaw also collected a game-high nine rebounds, and sophomore Jaren Haley added 21 points as the Bulldogs moved to 14-13 overall and 10-10 in league play. Coker, which received a game-high 23 points from Mason Ambler, fell to 11-15 overall and 8-12 in the conference.
With the win, Barton clinched the No. 6 seed for next week’s Conference Carolinas Tournament. The Bulldogs will play at Anderson College on Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Despite the loss, Coker earned the final spot in the eight-team field, and will visit No. 1 seed Mount Olive College on Tuesday.
Barton led throughout, but Coker kept the game in single-digits throughout the first half. The Cobras trailed by just one on a Thomas Wright 3-pointer with 4:22 left in the period, but Barton went on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes that included four points by Kershaw.
The Bulldogs took a 40-32 lead into intermission, and led by double-digits most of the second half. Coker closed to within nine points midway through the period, but consecutive 3-pointers by Haley and Kershaw pushed the Barton advantage to 15, matching the Bulldogs’ biggest lead of the night.
Haley was 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc. Gamble was 9-of-11 from inside the circle in scoring most of his team-high 22. As a team, Barton shot better than 58 percent from the field. Coker shot the ball well too, making 29 of 51 from the floor (57 percent), led by Ambler, who was 10-of-11 from the field. Joselle Bracy was 6-of-7 shooting on a 17-point scoring night.
With the win, Barton avenged an 86-80 loss to the Cobras in Hartsville in January.