Belmont Abbey senior forward McKenzie Owen recorded career-highs with 33 points and 15 rebounds and sophomore forward Gabrielle Bethel scored the winning points with the last of her ten points with 1:44 to go as the Crusaders women's basketball team won for the ninth time in the past ten games with a narrow 73-72 win at North Greenville this evening.
The win gives the Crusaders a season sweep of the series as they improve to 17-9 overall and 13-7 in Conference Carolinas, while North Greenville falls to 1-15 overall and 10-10 in Conference Carolinas.
Owen scored 20 of her points in the first half as Belmont Abbey built a 41-32 halftime lead on the strength of 51 percent shooting. Owen scored 20 first half points on 9-14 shooting from the field with seven rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal in just 15 minutes.
Enjoying a nine point halftime lead, North Greenville fought back in the second half as it made 50 percent of its shots, taking its first lead of the half on a Timisty Nelson bucket with 9:13 to play. North Greenville's lead grew to 70-65 with 5:59 left, but Owen scored the next six points on a pair of jumpers and two free throws, which moved the Abbey back on top at 71-70 with 4:09 to go.
From there, only six more points would be scored in the final 2:56, as North Greenville moved back on ahead 72-71 on its next possession.
Those would be the final North Greenville points of the game, as the home team missed their final four shots of the game, the last two coming with under six seconds left, including the final one at the buzzer.
With 1:57 left, North Greenville missed a jumper and Bethel grabbed the rebound. Eight seconds later, Bethel scored the winning basket as she grabbed Briana Grier's missed jumper and converted the layup for a 73-72 lead.
North Greenville called then called timeout. After the stoppage, it turned ball over, only to have the Abbey turn it back over with 1:05 to play.
With 44 seconds left, North Greenville's Courtney Williams missed a jumper and Owen grabbed her fourteenth rebound of the game.
28 seconds later, with 15 seconds left in the game, Belmont Abbey gave North Greenville one last chance with a turnover.
With six seconds left, Emily Wampler missed a three pointer, but Nelson grabbed the offensive rebound and passed off to Alisha Hope, whose jumper was off. Owen corralled the rebound, her career-high fifteenth, as Belmont Abbey earned the point victory.
For the game, Belmont Abbey shot 42 percent as Owen finished with 33 points on 13-23 shooting from the field, including a perfect 7-7 effort from the free throw line. She added 15 rebounds, four blocked shots, two steals and just one foul in 31 minutes.
Bethel added ten points, 13 rebounds, one assist and a blocked shot. Tajanna Brown added ten points. Grier pulled down five rebounds and handed out five assists.