The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team shot 47 percent from the floor as McKenzie Owen and Gabrielle Bethel both logged double doubles as the Crusaders took control of the game midway through the first half and never looked back to secure and easy 82-69 road win at Southern Wesleyan this afternoon. Belmont Abbey increases its winning streak to five as the record now stands at 13-8 overall and 9-6 in league play, while SWU drops to 6-12 overall and 4-11 in Conference Carolinas. The win gives the Crusaders a season sweep of the series.
The contest featured two ties and three lead changes but all of those came in the opening three minutes as the Crusaders turned a 5-4 deficit into a 28-13 lead in a span of just eight minutes to grab a lead they would never lose again.
Belmont Abbey's first half lead rose to as high as 16 at 41-25 on two Bethel free throws with five minutes to play, but the Warriors chopped their deficit down to seven at the half as they closed on a 14-4 run to close the gap to 47-41.
The Crusaders shot 57 percent from the field but turned the ball over 14 times in the opening half. Owen, who finished with a game-high 22 points, scored 13 in the period while Bethel added ten.
Belmont Abbey outscored the Warriors 35-28 in the final period as the Crusaders opened the half on a 19-6 run in the first eight minutes to eliminate any doubt. The flurry extended the Abbey's lead to 66-47 with 12:16 to go.
Southern Wesleyan cut the lead down to as few as eight at 74-66 with 2:53 to go, but the Crusaders scored eight of the game's final 11 points to seal the victory.
Owen and Bethel both recorded double doubles as Owen netted 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Bethel scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Briana Grier added a career-high 15 points to go along with three assists. Morgan Midkiff handed out seven assists.