Trailing by 27 points with 4:19 left in the first half, the Belmont Abbey women's basketball team stormed out to a 21-9 run in the second half as it dropped the lead down to as few as five, but Barton held on with late free throws to pull away and claim a 76-67 victory this evening at the Wheeler Center. Barton improves to 4-4 overall and 1-0 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey slips to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Belmont Abbey trailed 46-27 at the half and was down by 27, 42-15, with 4:29 left. The second half was a different story, as the Abbey opened the half on a 21-9 run in the first 10 minutes to slice the deficit to inside double digits at the second media timeout, 55-48. The Crusaders eventually got to within five points on five occasions but each time the Lady Bulldogs answered with points to not let the hosts get any closer. Freshman Tiffany Webster responded the first two times with a couple 15-footers from the right side of the foul line on two straight possessions.
Abbey inched to within five points for the last time at 70-65 inside the final two minutes on a pair of made free throws by sophomore guard Morgan Midkiff but Barton made its final eight free throws and Belmont Abbey missed its next five shot attempts as the Lady Bulldogs finished off the nine-point victory.
After shooting just 35 percent in the first half, the Abbey shot 42 percent in the second half as it outscored Barton 40-30. Barton cooled to a 30 percent shooting output after making 18 of 30 (60 percent) in the first half.
Midkiff led the Crusaders with 18 points, 15 of which came in the final 20 minutes. She made all three of the Abbey's three-point attempts as the Crusaders made just three of 12 on the night. Junior forward Tajanna Brown bucketed 11 points and joined senior forward Melisa Foures with eight rebounds apiece.
Barton held a dominating 20-12 rebounding surplus at halftime but Belmont Abbey took over the board in the second half, 25-13, to finish with a final 37-33 edge on the glass.