Belmont Abbey senior forward McKenzie Owen led all players with 20 points and junior guard Morgan Midkiff added 18 but Barton never trailed after being down 18-17 as the Lady Bulldogs pulled away with an 82-70 home victory this evening inside Wilson Gym. The two teams split the season series as Barton improves to 5-9 overall and 4-3 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey slips to 8-5 overall and 4-3 in league play.
The Crusaders continue their road swing Wednesday night at Mount Olive.
Belmont Abbey scored the first four points of the contest on a Tajanna Brown free throw followed by a three pointer from Midkiff, but Barton scored the next seven straight points to take a lead that it would hold for the next several minutes.
Barton's lead never rose higher than three points as the Abbey regained the lead at the 11:47 mark on a Jayneisha Davis layup, which moved the Crusaders ahead 18-17.
That bucket marked the last Crusaders lead of the game as Barton steamed ahead 29-22-its largest lead of the half-on the strength of a 12-4 burst. The Abbey fired right back with a run of its own, dropping the Barton lead down to 29-27 with 7:33 to play on two Gabrielle Bethel layups and capped off by one from Owen.
The two teams were never separated by more than two points as Barton held off two Abbey runs, and it scored the last four points of the half to carry a 40-34 lead into halftime.
Barton started the second half on a 10-6 run to stretch its lead to ten points, 50-40, with 15:33 to go. The lead stayed in Barton's favor the rest of the way, as its largest lead came at the 11:15 mark and the score showing 62-45.
The Crusaders would get as close as eight points on two free throws from Midkiff with 5:13 to play, dropping the Barton edge to 70-62, but the Lady Bulldogs pulled away with a 12 point victory.
Owen netted 20 points on 10-17 shooting from the floor with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Midkiff added 18 points, five assists and a steal. Brown pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.
The Crusaders shot 43 percent from the floor but was just 2-8 from three-point range, while converting 14 of 18 from the free throw line.