Trailing 56-47 after three quarters, the Belmont Abbey women's basketball team outscored Pfeiffer 17-12 in the final ten minutes, but the Crusaders could not overcome the Falcons lead as the visitors left the Wheeler Center with a 68-64 victory this evening. Pfeiffer moves to 6-12 overall and 5-9 in Conference Carolinas, while Belmont Abbey drops to 7-13 overall and 6-8 in the league.
Belmont Abbey recorded a higher shooting percentage, converted more three pointers and outrebounded the Falcons, but the Crusaders were undone by 19 turnovers while converting just two of five from the free throw line.
The Crusaders, which shot 49 percent from the field, were led by Alex Busch's 19 points. Larisa Bishop added 14 and Gabrielle Bethel logged her twelfth double double of the year with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Falcons led 40-36 at the half and 56-47 after three but the Crusaders made a game of it in the fourth quarter. Trailing 63-52 with 6:06 to go, the Crusaders clawed back with a 9-0 spurt over the next three minutes to chop the Falcons lead to 63-61 with 3:18 to go.
After both teams turned the ball over, Pfeiffer stretched the lead to five on a Brianna Jones three pointer at the 2:21 mark, but Busch had an answer 20 seconds later, swishing a three from the right corner to close the gap back to three at 66-64 with two minutes to play. Jones again had an answer, sinking a jumper with 1:30 left for what turned out to be the final points of the game, moving the Pfeiffer lead to 68-64.
Belmont Abbey missed its final four shots of the game, while Pfeiffer missed all four free throws it attempted in the final 22 seconds.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Saturday night at 5:30 when it pays a visit to fourth-ranked Limestone.