The Emmanuel men's basketball team outscored Belmont Abbey 50-38 in the second half as the Lions shot 54 percent in the final 20 minutes to overcome a two point halftime deficit and earn an 81-71 Conference Carolinas victory this evening inside the Wheeler Center. The Lions improve to 9-3 overall and 4-2 in Conference Carolinas, while the Crusaders drop to 4-10 and 1-6 in the league.
Both teams shot 37 percent in the first half but it was the Crusaders that carried the lead into the break, closing the half on a blistering 11-2 run to lead 33-31 after falling behind 29-22 with 2:41 to play. Clark scored seven of those points, each in succession, while Chen punctuated the flurry with two layups, the last with two seconds left, to give the Crusaders a two point halftime lead. It was the Abbey's first lead since holding a 22-21 edge with 5:22 left in the half.
The Crusaders held their lead through the early stages of the second half, as they scored seven of the first 12 points, capped off by a Clark three pointer, to move the lead to five at 40-35 with just under four minutes gone by.
Emmanuel, however, countered with a 20-8 run to secure a lead it would not lose again, running it up to 55-48 at the halfway mark. Belmont Abbey pulled within three after scoring the next four points, but Emmanuel again pulled away with a 17-10 run that zoomed the lead to double digits at 73-62 with 2:29 to go.
The Crusaders could only get as close as seven from there, as the Lions converted five of six from the line in the final minute to earn the ten point victory.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Wednesday as it hosts Southern Wesleyan at 7:30.