Belmont Abbey freshman Markel Pollard led all scorers with 15 points, but Wingate used a late second half run to build its lead to double digits to earn a 66-50 victory this evening in Cuddy Arena in the final game of the OrthoCarolina Tip-Off Challenge. Wingate improves to 2-0, while the Abbey falls to 0-2.
The Crusaders opened the game on fire, surging out on an 8-2 run which included the game's first five points, but the Bulldogs turned a 10-6 deficit into a 15-10 lead they would maintain for the next several minutes, until the 3:56 mark when a Nicholas Fullard free throw brought the game to a 20-20 stalemate.
After a missed Wingate shot on the other end, Pollard gave the Abbey a two point lead with a jumper at the 3:30 mark, but Wingate scored the last five points of the half to carry a 25-22 advantage into halftime.
The second half began with cold shooting by both teams, as the two schools combined to score 19 points through the first ten minutes.
Wingate built its lead to 44-31 with 9:11 to go and the edge would grow to as high as 16 as the Bulldogs earned the win.
Pollard led all scorers with 15 points on 6-13 shooting with six rebounds, one assist and a blocked shot. Drexler Clark chipped in with 12 and five assists and Tyler Horn contributed ten and five rebounds. Belmont Abbey shot 43 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range.
Wingate shot just 34 percent and made just 3-18 from three-point range (16 percent), but it dominated the boards by a 43-28 count, including 20 offensive rebounds. Wingate attempted 33 free throws, making 23, while the Crusaders were just 7-12.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Wednesday night at 7:30 when hosting Barton in the home opener. It will be Mount Holly Community Night.