Belmont Abbey freshman guard Alexius Hampton led four Crusaders in double figures with a career-high 18 points as the Belmont Abbey women's basketball team shot a season-best 50 percent from the floor in a 70-63 win over the University of Mount Olive this afternoon. Belmont Abbey snaps a two game losing streak as it improves to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in Conference Carolinas, while Mount Olive loses for the first time in league play, dropping to 5-5 overall and 3-1 in Conference Carolinas.
The Crusaders made just over half of their shots (31-61) as they started the game with five consecutive baskets before a miss. The Abbey's largest lead of the game came in the first quarter, as a Larisa Bishop jumper punctuated an 18-8 run to begin the game with 3:28 to go in the first. Mount Olive closed with a 10-2 run to trim the Crusaders lead to 20-18 after one.
Mount Olive continued its hot play in the second quarter, as it outscored the Abbey 18-13 to carry a 36-33 lead into the break. Neither team attempted a free throw in the first half as only six fouls were called between the two teams.
The second half, and especially the third quarter, was controlled by Belmont Abbey, as the Crusaders outscored the guests 17-11.
After Mount Olive began the penultimate quarter on a 7-5 mini-run to extend its lead to 43-38, Belmont Abbey fired right back with a 10-2 run to take a lead it would never lose again.
Hampton started the run by scoring the first seven points, while Briana Grier ended it with a traditional three point play to give the Crusaders a 48-45 lead.
The advantage held at 50-47 after three quarters.
Belmont Abbey opened the final period on a 15-7 run to move the lead up to ten points at 65-55 with 3:10 to play on a jumper from Alex Busch, but the Crusaders saw that lead dwindle down to three at 66-63 with 20 seconds left as the Trojans embarked on an 8-1 run, but Grier knocked down two free throws with 18 seconds left, followed by a Hampton layup with four seconds left after a Gabrielle Bethel steal to close out the seven point victory.
Hampton, who one game prior handed out a career-high 10 assists, came off the bench to lead four Crusaders in double figures with 18 points on 7-9 shooting from the floor, including 3-4 from three point range. She added two steals and an assist. Grier netted 12 points, set a career-high with eight rebounds and handed out eight assists.
Taylor Gittings netted 14 points, two assists and a steal. Busch added 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Bethel pulled down nine rebounds as the Crusaders finished with 40 on the afternoon.
After no free throws in the first half by either team, the two teams combined for 21 in the second half, as the Crusaders finished 5-6 from the line, while Mount Olive was 7-15.
Today's game was the final one before Christmas for the Crusaders, who return to the court New Years Eve at 2:00 when hosting UNC Pembroke.