BELMONT, N.C. -- Drexler Clark tallied 16 points and dished out four assists and Jacob Wilson added 11 points, eight board and five helpers, but it was not enough as Limestone posted a 79-63 men's basketball victory over Belmont Abbey Saturday afternoon at the Wheeler Center. The contest was the final pre-Christmas action on the schedule for the Crusaders.
Ben Ferguson added 14 points, hitting five of seven from the field, including four from behind three-point range. Shaun Stewart of Limestone led all scorers with 19 points, while Donovan Harris tallied a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards.
The Saints (9-1, 4-0) opened the game on a 5-0 run and later broke a 10-10 tie with a 16-2 run. Their biggest lead of the period came at 32-15 with 3:38 to play. But Belmont Abbey (5-5, 1-2) answered, scoring five in a row and ending the half on an 11-2 spurt to trail by eight, 34-26 at the break. Clark hit a three as the buzzer sounded for the final points.
In the second half, Limestone stretched the lead back to 16, 51-35, with 14:30 remaining. The margin later reached 21, 65-44 at the 7:07 mark, before the Crusaders again tried to rally. A 7-0 run cut the lead to 14 with just over five minutes to play, then a 10-4 spurt trimmed the margin to 10, 73-63, with just under two minutes left. But Limestone hit all six free throws over the remaining time to seal the victory.
Rebounding proved to be the difference as the Saints held a 43-27 advantage on the boards and made 10 more free throws.
Belmont Abbey now enjoys its Christmas break, next returning to the court Dec. 30 at Tusculum.