The Pride men's basketball team came up just short of knocking off cross-town rival Guilford in front of a packed Hanes Gymnasium crowd, on the campus of Greensboro College on Wednesday night. A late Quaker run doomed Greensboro in the 60-59 defeat, despite the best efforts of an energized crowd.
After a back-and-forth start to the game, The Pride took control at the 8:17 mark of the first half, holding a 15-14 lead. A Luqman Tijani putback kicked off an 8-2 spurt that pushed the Greensboro advantage to 23-15. The momentum helped carry The Pride into the break with a 26-20 lead.
Greensboro limited Guilford to 6-26 shooting from the field in the first half, including 1-8 from beyond the arc.
The Pride came out firing in the early moments of the second half, extending the margin to 33-23 with 16:09 to go in the game. The Quakers responded with their first major run of the game, pulling to within 35-34 with 11:21 showing on the clock.
Greensboro continued to cling to the lead until a Quaker lay-up with 4:19 remaining put Guilford ahead 54-53. The Guilford lead would grow to 60-56 with 1:26 to go but The Pride were not done yet.
A big three-point bucket by Damian Dixon with 16 seconds left brought the capacity crowd to a frenzy and narrowed the gap to 60-59. Greensboro forced a quick Quaker turnover to provide one final opportunity to win the game.
The Pride swung the ball around the arc to Dixon in the corner, but his shot hit the front of the iron as the buzzer sounded.
Tijani led all scorers on the night with 12 points. He was joined in double figures by T.J. Holman and Brock Moorman with 11 apiece. As a team, Greensboro connected on 41.5% of its field goal attempts while holding Guilford to 35.0% shooting. The Quakers did hold the advantage on the boards, however, by a 46-34 margin.
The defeat drops The Pride to 1-1 on the season. Greensboro will be back in action this weekend at the Hilton Garden Invitational at Guilford College. The Pride will face off against Bridgewater at 8 p.m. on Friday with the the championship and consolation games scheduled on Saturday.