By John Fitzgerald
Ray Chen had an impressive 14-point, seven-assist performance in tonight's Senior Night matchup against Lees-McRae. The 91-82 loss slid the Abbey overall record to 9-17 and 5-13 in conference play. Lees-McRae improved to 16-11 on the season and 12-5 against Conference Carolinas opponents.
Belmont Abbey started the game off well, grabbing a five-point lead four minutes into the game. Then the Abbey went on a 3:56 scoring drought, but still led by a point with 8:43 in the first half. The Crusaders built their biggest lead of the half off a Ray Chen free throw that put the Abbey up 38-31. Unfortunately for the Abbey, it was the last Crusader point of the half. The Bobcats led at the intermission 43-38.
Belmont Abbey continued to hang tough, pulling to within a point 4:17 into the second half. Another Chen free throw helped the Abbey get within five with 7:08 to play. That was the closest Belmont Abbey would come for the remainder of the game. It ended in a 91-82 Bobcat win.
Chen shot 4 of 9 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free throw line en route to 14 points. Sophomore Nick Hough led all scorers with 30 points. Sophomore Deion Lane contributed with 15 points, five boards, and three assists.
The Abbey will next take on the Barton Bulldogs in Wilson, NC on Saturday.