The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team outscored Georgia Southwestern 41-33 in the second half after trailing 43-31 at halftime, but the Hurricanes had just enough to hold off the Crusaders 76-72 this evening in a contest that the two teams combined to record 73 turnovers and 50 fouls. Georgia Southwestern improves to 6-1, while the Abbey slips to 5-2.
Belmont Abbey totaled 42 turnovers, 27 in the first half, that led to 40 Hurricanes points. Georgia Southwestern, in turn, totaled 31 turnovers that led to just 13 Crusaders points.
Of the 20 players that saw action, 15 were charged with at least two fouls, with two players disqualified with five.
Belmont Abbey's only lead of the game came on the first basket of the contest, a Tajanna Brown layup with 18 seconds gone by. The Hurricanes then scored the next nine straight points to claim a lead they would hold onto for most of the game, save a tying three point shot from Midkiff that knotted the contest at 15 with 12:48 to play in the first half.
From there, the Hurricanes outscored the Abbey 26-16, which included a 20-4 burst, to carry a 43-31 lead into halftime.
Despite 27 first half turnovers, the Abbey shot 60 percent in the stanza (12-20).
The Crusaders shot 50 percent in the second half and held Georgia Southwestern to 37 percent shooting as the Abbey outscored the Hurricanes 41-33 in the final 20 minutes.
Down 72-60 with 2:07 to go, the Abbey made one final charge, zipping on a 10-4 run engineered exclusively by Midkiff, who recorded her fourth foul just 1:42 into the second half.
The junior from Mt. Airy scored all ten of the Abbey's points in the run, which included a pair of layups and six free throws, the last of which cut the Abbey's deficit to 75-70 with 29 seconds left.
After a Georgia Southwestern timeout, the Hurricanes turned the ball over, but the ensuing Crusaders possession came up empty and the Abbey was forced to foul.
The Hurricanes missed the first but made the second with 11 seconds left to push the lead to 76-60. Marilyn Malphrus scored the final points of the game as she grabbed a missed Owen shot and sank the layup with four tenths of a second left.
Belmont Abbey shot 53 percent for the game (28-52) as Midkiff scored 17 points in 15 mimutes. Owen added 16 in 16 minutes. Gabrielle Bethel grabbed six rebounds, all in the second half. Caitlyn Ranson handed out a career-high 10 assists to go along with seven points.
Belmont Abbey will now take off one week for final exams as they are back in action next Saturday, December 13 when hosting North Greenville. Tip-off on OrthoCarolina Night is set for 5:30.