Crusaders' Start Strong, but Fall to North Greenville

Crusaders' Start Strong, but Fall to North Greenville

By John Fitzgerald

The Belmont Abbey women's basketball squad fell 69-65 to the North Greenville Crusaders tonight in the Wheeler Center.  With the loss, the Abbey is now 7-15 on the season and holds a 6-10 conference record.  North Greenville became 7-16 overall with a 5-11 record against Conference Carolinas competition.

Belmont Abbey scored each of the game's first ten points, all coming from Alex Busch and Gabrielle Bethel.  Later in the quarter, Busch would score six straight points for the game.

Near the end of the half, North Greenville put together an 8-0 run to tie the game at 30 just before sophomore Taylor Gittings made a jumper to give the Abbey a 32-30 halftime lead.

The third quarter was very competitive, with both teams putting together scoring streaks, while neither team led by more than six points the whole quarter, and the Abbey taking a 3-point lead into the game final period.

With 4:28 to play in the game, junior Marilyn Malphrus sunk a free throw to put the Abbey in front 62-54.  From that point, Belmont Abbey went on a 3-minute scoring drought in which North Greenville scored 12 points to take a four-point lead at 66-62.  Belmont Abbey pulled to within a point with under a minute left, but the North Greenville Crusaders hung on for the win.

On the night, Busch finished with 19 points and five rebounds, both team-highs.  Bethel produced a 9-point, 13-board game, and Larisa Bishop chipped in 12 points.  Briana Grier handed out eight assists on the night.

Belmont Abbey's next game will be a visit to King in Bristol, TN on Thursday night.