Belmont Abbey freshman guard Drexler Clark scored a career-high 20 points in his second career game, leading four Crusaders in double figures as the men's basketball team moved to 2-0 with a convincing 98-77 win at Catawba this evening. Catawba falls to 0-3.
The Crusaders trailed by only three points, which came at 10-9 with just under five minutes gone by. From there, the Abbey pulled away for good on a 16-3 run over the next five minutes to build a 26-13 lead with 9:57 left in the first. After a Catawba basket momentarily halted the string, the Abbey rolled on another jaunt, this one an 18-6 flurry to rise the lead to 23, the largest of the half.
After a Catawba free throw with 32 seconds left closed the score to 50-30, freshman Kendall Ratliff sent the Crusaders into the half with a 23 point lead when he connected on his first career three-pointer with four seconds left.
Belmont Abbey maintained its lead of over 20 points through the first part of the second half, but the Indians cut the lead to 17 after an 8-0 run. The Abbey responded with a 23-8 run to eliminate all doubt. The flurry was capped off by a Justin Kuhlman jumper that made the lead 34 points, the highest of the game, at 91-57 with 7:23 remaining and the Abbey would go on to win by 21 at 98-77.
Clark scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half as he sank all six of his field goal attempts and four of five from the line. Chris Davis finished with 16 for the game, 12 in the first half, with seven of those coming on the 16-3 run. He also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Ray Chen finished with 16 points on six of ten shooting with two assists. Ryan Conrad totaled 12 points and three assists. 20 of the Abbey's 39 points were assisted as the Crusaders shot 51 percent from the field. Four of the Abbey's five starters each had three assists. Darryl Durham's seven rebounds was the team-high.