Belmont Abbey sophomore guard Ray Chen tied for the game-high with a career-best 24 points as the Crusaders men's basketball team lost to the visiting North Greenville Crusaders by a score of 92-76 this evening in a Conference Carolinas matchup. North Greenville improves to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey falls to 0-9 overall and 0-4 in league play.
Chen netted 24 points on 8-14 shooting while sinking all seven of his free throw attempts. Including Chen, three of five starters reached double figures as Deion Lane scored 15 points and Markel Pollard added 13. Drexler Clark came off the bench to score 13 points.
Belmont Abbey shot 45 percent from the floor and was 9-26 from three-point range (34 percent) and 15-19 from the free throw line.
After North Greenville claimed an early 20-13 lead, Belmont Abbey fired back with a 14-8 run to grab its first lead since Lane scored the first points of the game.
A jumper from Chen closed the NG lead to 28-27, and after a visitors turnover, Pollard converted a running layup with 5:49 to go that gave the Abbey a 28-27 edge.
Pollard made it 31-28 on the next trip after a North Greenville turnover, but North Greenville ended the half on a 15-7 run to take the lead for good and carry a 43-38 lead into the break.
All but six of North Greenville's first half points came from inside the paint as it shot 53 percent from the field while the Abbey made half of its shots (13-26).
The second half was all North Greenville, as it extended its lead to as high as 23 with nine minutes left in the game, as the visitors shot 74 percent from the field. Chen scored 17 of his 24 points in the final 20 minutes.
58 of North Greenville's points came in the paint and both teams scored 21 points off each other's turnovers.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Wednesday at noon as it hosts St. Augustine's on Gaston County Schools Day.