Wilson, NC- Senior Mark Friscone came off the bench to score 13 points and junior Brian Leggett racked up nine points and 14 rebounds Wednesday night as nationally 12th-ranked Barton College rallied past Coker for a 77-70 men’s basketball victory.


The Bulldogs of 11th-year head coach Ron Lievense improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference while Coker slipped to 1-4 and 0-1 in the CVAC. Barton is home with Lees-McRae on Saturday night.


Barton raced to a 34-31 halftime lead, but Coker came charging back behind the red-hot shooting of sophomore guard Ben Brim (Atlanta, GA), who scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Brim, along with Ryan and Jason Fulwood (both of Cummings, GA) each drained a trio of 3-pointers apiece as the Cobras rallied to a four-point lead at 54-50. Barton, behind a couple of treys from Friscone (North Royalton, OH), powered back in front and claimed a 72-63 lead with 1:58 left.


But Coker would not quit, pulling within 73-70 at 1:12 on a 3-pointer by Ryan Fulwood. Coker had two chances to tie the game, but missed a shot and turned the ball over. Junior Barton guard Jeff Dalce (East Orange, N.J.) picked Brim’s pocket, then went the length of the court for a crucial layup, making it 75-70 with 37 ticks left. Senior point guard Anthony Atkinson (Wilson, NC) made two free throws to account for the final margin.


Atkinson led Barton with 18 points and sophomore Bobby Buffaloe (Fuquay-Varina, NC) tallied 13 points.

Lukas Varga and Jason Fulwood tallied 12 points each for the Cobras and Ryan Fulwood chipped in 11.


Coker cashed in 48 percent from downtown and 42.4 percent from 2-point range. Barton was 49.1 percent from the floor and outscored Coker 18-8 from the foul line.