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Mid-Atlantic Christian men's basketball falls to North Carolina Wesleyan

N.C. Wesleyan 78 Mid-Atlantic Christian 67

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Mid-Atlantic Christian's (MACU) Garfield Brown Jr. (with ball) during the men's basketball game against North Carolina Wesleyan, Saturday, November 10, 2018 at MACU.

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Sunday, November 11, 2018

In recent years, the Mid-Atlantic Christian men’s basketball team has had its struggles against North Carolina Wesleyan.

On Saturday afternoon, MACU was in a close contest late in the second half against the NCAA Division III program from Rocky Mount.

The Mustangs were unable to complete the upset as North Carolina Wesleyan defeated MACU 78-67 at Chesson Gym.

For MACU men’s basketball coach Allan Harris, the tight contest reflects how the men’s basketball program has evolved.

“When we look for a player, we look for people that can compete at the level that we are trying to get to,” he said.

The Mustangs (0-2) were led in scoring by three freshmen in Saturday’s contest.

Garfield Brown, who played his high school basketball at Northeastern, scored a team-high 16 points, Greg Bloodsworth followed with 15 points and Talik Totten added 13 points.

All three players had important moments to help the Mustangs trim away a Wesleyan (1-0) nine-point advantage in the second half.

Brown was able to consistently get to the basket in second half.

A basket by Brown helped cap a run that cut a 59-54 deficit to 63-61.

Bloodsworth also had a key basket in the run.

“Those three have been playing pretty consistent since we started,” Harris said.

The coach noted that he targeted the three guards during their high school years.

“Those guys took their high schools deep into the playoffs,” he said. “At this level, I’m confident that these young men will do what they have to do to stay with it.”

North Carolina Wesleyan had a bit too much length as the Bishops were able to get the ball inside for easy baskets or found an open spot in the middle of the lane to connect on baskets.

Robert Wilson led Wesleyan with 20 points, while A.J. Frye scored 17 points.

Damon McDowell had 16 points, Justin Tankelewicz posted 15 points in the win.

MACU struggled to make baskets down the stretch, while Wesleyan made enough free throws to secure the victory.

The Mustangs exchanged the lead with Wesleyan in the first half.

Harris noted that being patient and executing the offense were key to holding the lead. The coach noted that the Mustangs have to do a better job on the interior on offense and defense.

The Bishops went on a run late in the first 20 minutes to take a 38-32 lead at halftime.

The program gained momentum in recruiting after winning the Bible College NIT tournament championship in March to end the 2017-18 season.

“They want to come to a program that is trying to do some things,” Harris said.

The Mustangs also feature a junior varsity men’s program this season.

MACU has around 30 athletes in men’s basketball program. Alex Stanley, a senior, is a returning player from last season currently on the varsity roster.

Stanley, who played his high school ball at Pasquotank, scored four points and posted four rebounds against Wesleyan.

The Mustangs will continue their tough schedule Monday as they travel to The Citadel.

While MACU will not count the game to its overall record, The Citadel will count the contest.

“We have a tough schedule, but these young men don’t mind having a schedule that they know will make them better,” Harris said.

Editor’s note: After receiving updated statistics from MACU, the story online has been updated to reflect that Robert Wilson led North Carolina Wesleyan with 20 points. A previous version noted that Wilson and A.J. Frye led Wesleyan with 17 points each.

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