Belmont Abbey sophomore guard Ray Chen scored 25 of his 29 points in the final 2:50 to single-handedly lead the Crusaders men's basketball team back from a 68-55 deficit, but Sean Moriarity's tying attempt at the buzzer fell short as Erskine held on for an 83-80 victory this evening inside the Wheeler Center. The Flying Fleet improve to 8-11 overall and 4-8 in league play, while the Crusaders drop to 1-18 overall and 1-11 in Conference Carolinas.
The Crusaders go on the road for their next three games before returning home February 7 against Johnson & Wales
Chen, who totaled just four points in the first 37 minutes, netted all of the Crusaders final 25 points in the last 2:50 as he sank ten consecutive free throws-six coming after he was fouled beyond the arc-and swished four three-pointers while also converting a traditional three-point play, to bring the Abbey back from a 68-55 deficit to 81-80 with 11 seconds to play.
Chen's run ended with two free throws with 11.1 left, which cut the Erskine deficit to 81-80. Belmont Abbey fouled on the next Erskine possession, and the two free throws from Maurice Daniels moved the Flying Fleet lead to 83-80.
With no timeouts, the Crusaders raced down court and with five ticks left, Chen's contested three pointer fell short, but Moriarity ran down the rebound and raced to the left corner and hurriedly fired a three pointer, but it hit the back iron as the buzzer sounded.
Erskine led by just one at the half, 34-33 and edged the Abbey 49-47 in the second half, as Chen scored just over half of the Crusaders points.
Chen finished with 29 points on 6-14 shooting from the floor, including 4-8 from three point range and 13-13 from the free throw line. He added five assists, five rebounds and one steal in 33 minutes. Deion Lane totaled 17 points before fouling out midway through the first half. He added six rebounds, two steals and an assist. Nick Hough contributed 15 points and Kendall Ratliff netted 11.