The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team used a strong second half outscored King 25-17 in the second half, holding the Tornado to just nine points through the first 15 minutes, but King had just enough to pull away late and hold on for a 52-49 victory this evening in Bristol. The Tornado improve to 11-5 overall and 5-3 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey, which sees its five game winning streak snapped, falls to 12-6 overall and 6-2 in Conference Carolinas.
The Crusaders led just once in the game, at 2-0 at the 19:21 mark.
Belmont Abbey trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half was behind 35-24 at halftime before the Crusaders turned up the defensive pressure in the final 20 minutes.
King scored just nine points in the first 15 minutes, and made just five of 25 from the field in the second half while turning the ball over seven times.
Three of King's points came in the first 4:55 as the Abbey opened the second half on a 10-3 run. After Jalan Harper's three-pointer at the 12:37 mark, the Tornado did not make another basket until Sydney Harris swished a three at the 7:20 mark, which extended King's lead to 44-39.
That was the last King field goal for the next three minutes, as the Abbey charged into the Tornado lead.
A jumper from McKenzie Owen slipped the King lead to one at 44-43 with 6:10 left, but that was as close as the Crusaders would get, as the Tornado offense came alive, starting with an 8-2 run that pushed the lead to seven at 52-45 with 3:07 left. That would be the last King points of the night, as the Tornado turned the ball over three times and attempted just one shot in the final three minutes. King also missed two free throws in the span.
Despite not scoring, the Tornado held off one last Crusaders charge, as an Owen jumper with 49 ticks left closed the King lead to four. Five seconds later, Larisa Bishop converted a free throw, but the Abbey made a lane violation on the next attempt, which is a turnover. Bishop's free throw was the last point of the game, as King ran out the clock to seal the win.
The Crusaders shot 27 percent from the floor (19-70) and was just 2-18 from three-point range and 9-11 from the line.