24 hours after netting a career-high 32 points in an 84-79 win over Emmanuel, Belmont Abbey junior guard Morgan Midkiff erupted for 33 points-25 of those coming in the second half-as the Crusaders women's basketball team rallied past Erskine 83-80 tonight inside the Wheeler Center. Belmont Abbey extends its winning streak to three as the record improves to 11-8 overall and 7-6 in Conference Carolinas, while the Flying Fleet drop to 10-9 overall and 8-5 in league play. The two teams split the season series.
The contest featured seven ties and 21 lead changes as Erskine built a 38-35 halftime lead, but it was the Crusaders that controlled the game in the final 20 minutes.
Midkiff scored 25 of her points in the second half as the Crusaders, like they did one night ago, surged ahead in the final two minutes to stun their opponent.
Trailing 70-63 with 5:57 to play, the Abbey scored the next four points on a McKenzie Owen free throw and a Midkiff three pointer to slice the deficit to three.
After an Erskine bucket, the Crusaders surged ahead for good on a 12-2 run that moved the Abbey in front 79-74 with 38 seconds left.
Erskine did not go away, as it converted a jumper on its next possession to slice the lead to a pair with 26 seconds left.
Five seconds later, Midkiff was fouled, and she sank both free throws to make it a two possession game at 81-77.
Erskine missed two jumpers on its next trip, the second miss via an Amari Moreland block and Owen rebound. With three seconds left, Midkiff was fouled and had 31 points in the book. She swished both, her thirty second and thirty third points of the night, to seal the win. Erskine's Raygon Hendrix swished a 26 foot shot at the buzzer to provide the final margin.
Midkiff, who finished with 65 points in two games this weekend, scored 33 points on 11-21 shooting from the floor, including 6-8 from three point range. She added five assists, five rebounds and one steal, all in 35 minutes. In the second half alone, she scored 25 points on 8-12 shooting, 4-5 from three point range and a perfect 5-5 effort from the free throw line.
Owen added 20 points, 14 in the second half, on 8-15 shooting with ten rebounds, three blocks and one assist. Gabrielle Bethel poured in ten points and tied her career-high with 14 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass as the Crusaders dominated the boards by a 51-36 count.
Belmont Abbey shot 39 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range.