Belmont Abbey senior forward McKenzie Owen led three Crusaders in double figures with 21 points, Morgan Midkiff added 19 and Ashia Holmes notched a career-high 12 as the women's basketball team earned its first win of the year with a 75-72 win at Coker this evening. Both teams are now 1-1.
Trailing 33-30 at the half, the Crusaders outscored the Cobras 45-33 as they pulled away late. Down 60-57 with 9:35 left, Belmont Abbey zipped ahead 64-61 on a 7-1 burst fueled mostly by Midkiff, who sank a jumper and two free throws.
Coker deadlocked the game on the next possession, and the two teams traded baskets until a 6-2 Crusaders mini-run that gave the Abbey the lead for good.
Owen's layup extended the lead to four and then Holmes countered a Cobras basket with one of her own, the last of her 12 points, that extended the cushion back to four with 3:02 showing.
Coker converted one of two free throws on the other end, followed by one free throw by Marilyn Malphrus with 2:04 to go that pushed the lead back to three.
Less than a minute later, Malphrus capped the Crusaders scoring with a running layup, the last of her career-high seven points, which proved to be the difference in the game, as it moved the lead to five at 75-70 with 1:18 on the clock.
The Cobras mustered one final charge, as Tanesha Stenson cut the lead to one possession with her 23rd and final points of the game at the 53 second mark to close the gap to 75-72.
After an Abbey turnover with 26 seconds left that gave Coker one last chance, the Cobras missed a three pointer with ten seconds left but they got their own rebound. Coker then called a timeout, but the Cobras did not get off a shot as the Abbey earned the 75-72 victory.
Belmont Abbey shot 47 percent as Owen scored 21 on 9-11 shooting with seven rebounds, one assist and a steal. Midkiff added 19, six rebounds and four assists. Holmes chipped in with a career-high 12 on 4-9 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Crusaders are back in action Wednesday night at 5:30 as they make their home opener against Barton on Mount Holly Community night.