Belmont Abbey junior forward McKenzie Owen netted a career-high 28 points, 18 in the second half, but the Crusaders second half rally fell short as the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears claimed a 70-59 victory this evening at the Wheeler Center. Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 3-0, while the Abbey falls to 1-2.
The Crusaders trailed 37-26 at the half, but a 48 percent shooting output in the second half allowed the Abbey to match Lenoir-Rhyne's 33 points in the final 20 minutes. The Bears built a nine point halftime advantage after shooting 45 percent, but that output dropped to 37 percent in the second half. Belmont Abbey shot just 34 percent in the first half.
Belmont Abbey led just twice in the contest, both early in the first half. The first lead came at 10-9 on an Owen jumper, and the next two minutes later on a short jumper from Morgan Midkiff. The Abbey battled back after the Bears scored nine of the game's first 12 points.
After Midkiff gave the Abbey the lead, Lenoir-Rhyne pulled away on a 25-14 run to close the half and build a 37-26 lead at the break.
Owen and Midkiff both scored ten points in the first half, as Owen was five of nine from the floor and Midkiff sank four out of nine.
The second half began with Owen scoring six of the Abbey's first ten points, but the Bears matched the Abbey's effort as the lead grew to ten points. Lenoir-Rhyne extended its lead to as high as 19 with 2:45 left, but the Abbey closed the game on a 10-2 run to cut the margin to 70-59.
Owen led all scorers with a career-high 28 points on 13-19 shooting from the floor. She also had four rebounds and a blocked shot. Midkiff added ten points, all in the first half to go along with four assists. Candace Fox handed out six assists as 15 of the Abbey's 26 field goals were assisted. Melisa Foures's seven rebounds led the team. The Abbey shot 41 percent from the field but made just three of 16 from beyond the arc.