BELMONT, N.C. -- In a battle between the top two teams -- and the top two scorers -- in Conference Carolinas, Belmont Abbey and DeQuan Abrom outdueled Kendrick Colvin and Emmanuel Saturday night for an 88-85 victory at the Wheeler Center. The Crusaders (17-5, 10-2) handed the Lions (18-6, 11-1) their first loss in league play. Abrom tallied 35 points and seven rebounds, both team highs, while Colvin posted a double-double of 32 points and 16 rebounds.
Romeao Ferguson also reached double figures with 13 points, while grabbing three rebounds and dishing out four assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Emmanuel entered the game ranked seventh in the Southeast Regional by D2SIDA, while Belmont Abbey was ninth.
- The Abbey shot 71.4 percent (15 of 21) in the second half after converting just 36.1 percent in the first. The percentage was the highest of any half this season and marked the 24th of 44 halves over 50%.
- Belmont Abbey, which entered the contest ranked sixth nationally in free throw percentage (.800), hit 27 of 32 from the charity stripe (84.4 percent) in the contest. Abrom hit 20 of those (in 22 attempts), the sixth-most in Division II this season.
- Emmanuel shot just 45.7 percent from the field (32 of 70) and 63.0 percent (17 of 27) from the free throw line.
- In the game's first seven minutes, Emmanuel built an eight-point lead, 17-9, but The Abbey used a 7-0 run to trail by one. Later in the period, it ran off eight straight points to turn a 23-22 deficit into a 30-23 margin.
- The Crusaders led 36-33 at the break, extending its record this year to 15-2, 8-2 when leading at the half.
- Belmont Abbey opened the second half on a 10-4 run to lead by nine, 46-37 with 18:07 remaining, the stretched the margin to 12 at 55-43 with 13:43 left.
- Emmanuel cut the gap to two on two occasions near the eight-minute mark, but Ferguson and Abrom responded in back-to-back fashion, allowing the lead to reach nine again, 75-66 with 5:27 to play.
- The Lions made a final push, cutting the gap to one, twice in the final 61 seconds, but Belmont Abbey connected on all three free throws over the remaining time to clinch the victory.
- Belmont Abbey closes out its three-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts Barton. The Crusaders won the first matchup, 93-79 in Wilson on December 1.