By John Fitzgerald
Belmont Abbey's men's basketball squad fell 71-41 tonight at King University. It was the largest margin of defeat the Crusaders have suffered this season. The loss brought the Abbey's record to 9-16 on the season, with a 5-12 conference record. King improved to 19-5 on the year with a conference-best 14-2 record in league play.
The first half was very competitive, as neither team built a lead bigger than five points until the last four minutes of the half. A King layup put the Tornado in front 13-6. The Abbey defense responded by holding King to one field goal and no free throws over the next 5:33 to crawl to within a point. The offense stalled, however, only scoring six points the rest of the half, and trailed 32-21 at halftime.
The second half was less competitive. Sophomore Nick Hough scored three-pointers on back-to-back Abbey possessions. This brought the Crusaders within six. It was the closest the Abbey would come. The Tornado put together a 13-0 run to go ahead 54-35. In the end, Belmont Abbey lost the game 71-41.
The Abbey was not without its positive moments. Hough led all scorers with 24, including 6 of 10 from three-point range. Deion Lane grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots. Freshman Aidan Richard blocked a game-high four King shots.
Belmont Abbey will be back in action on Wednesday for Senior Night. The game will begin at 7:30PM against Lees-McRae College.