The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team outscored North Greenville 26-17 in the final nine minutes to break a 44-44 tie and streak away with a 70-61 victory at the Wheeler Center this evening. The win gives the Abbey the season sweep of the series as it moves to 13-6 overall and 7-2 in Conference Carolinas, while North Greenville drops to 6-11 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
The two teams battled neck-and-neck through the first 31 minutes before the Abbey pulled away late. The two teams combined for 54 turnovers, as North Greenville recorded 32 miscues-20 coming from the starting lineup- and just one assist, while the Abbey had 22 turnovers.
After the two teams went into halftime tied a 30, Belmont Abbey outscored North Greenville 40-31 in the second half, with 26 of the points coming in the final 9:02.
North Greenville's last lead came at the 9:54 mark on two Ciara Anderson free throws to make the score 44-43, but Kelsey Long tied the game for the tenth and final time 52 seconds later with a free throw.
After a missed three-pointer by North Greenville on the ensuing possession-North Greenville finished 0-11 from three-point range-McKenzie Owen gave the Crusaders the lead for good with a layup. That bucket started an 11-0 Abbey run which increased its lead to 55-44, the largest of the game, with 5:51 left.
North Greenville chipped away at the lead, as it pulled as close as three points on four straight free throws, the last two coming with 2:14 to go that cut the deficit to 60-57.
That was as close as North Greenville would get, as the Abbey scored ten of the game's final 16 points as the Crusaders made all eight of their free throws in the final 1:15 to seal the nine point victory.
For the fourth time in the last five games, the Abbey forced its opponent to commit more turnovers (32) than made field goals (19). Morgan Midkiff led all scorers with 18 points, 11 coming in the second half. Owen addes 15 despite early foul trouble. Candace Fox netted 11 and handed out eight assists. Long and Tajanna Brown both contributed ten points.
Belmont Abbey shot 44.6 percent (25-56) from the field and made four of 11 from three-point range and 16-25 from the line.