Belmont Abbey junior guard Morgan Midkiff scored a season-high 26 points as the Crusaders women's basketball team outscored Mars Hill 38-26 in the second half after leading by just one at the break to earn a 75-62 road win this afternoon.
The Crusaders improve to 8-2 as they win their third straight, while the Lions, which are led by former Belmont Abbey assistant coach Sarah Jansen, fall to 4-6.
The first half was back and forth as the two schools exchanged leads several times before the Abbey broke a 28-28 stalemate by outscoring Mars Hill 9-8 in the final four minutes, punctuated by a Midkiff three pointer with 1:08 left, to give the Crusaders a 37-36 halftime lead.
Midkiff scored 15 of her points in the first half and McKenzie Owen added nine as the Crusaders shot 39 percent from the field and converted five of ten from beyond the arc.
Belmont Abbey took control of the game early in the second half, bolting ahead on a 21-10 run in the first 11 minutes as Mars Hill went almost seven minutes without converting a field goal.
The Lions did muster one last charge, cutting the Abbey's lead down to five at 67-62 with 2:05 to play, but Mars Hill did not score again as the Crusaders scored the final eight points of the game to seal the victory.
Belmont Abbey shot 44 percent as Midkiff's 26 points came on 6-12 shooting from the field, including 5-8 from three point range. She also made nine of ten from the free throw line. She added eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Owen contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal.
Today's game was the final out of conference matchup for the Crusaders this season. Belmont Abbey is off for Christmas until January 2 when it goes on the road to face Erskine.