By John Fitzgerald
The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team fell to the Lees-McRae Bobcats 90-70 in the final home game of the regular season. The loss drops the Abbey to 7-18 overall and 6-13 in conference play. The Bobcats moved to 8-18 on the season and 7-12 against Conference Carolinas competition.
Belmont Abbey shot 38.4% from the floor on the night, including 18.2% from three-point range.
The Crusaders fell into an early six-point hole, but climbed back, taking a two-point lead late in the first quarter. However, Lees-McRae's Markia Stacey scored the last five points of the quarter to give the Bobcats a 23-20 lead going into the second period.
Once again, the Crusaders took a lead early in the period. Then the defense held Lees-McRae to one point for a 5:28 stretch. During that span, the Abbey took a two-point lead. Once again, though, the Bobcats ended the period strong, this time scoring 12 of the quarter's final 14 points. The Crusaders trailed 41-33 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Crusaders, for the third time, started the period strong as they narrowed the Bobcat lead. A 3:30 scoring drought, though, allowed the Bobcats to take a 17-point lead with just under five minutes in the third. The Crusaders trimmed it to 13 by the end of the quarter.
In the fourth, the Abbey cut the deficit to 11 with 6:33 to play to keep within striking distance. A Bobcat run put Lees-McRae in front 74-58. In the end, the Bobcats took the game 90-70.
Junior Gabrielle Bethel recorded double-double number fifteen on the year with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Briana Grier handed out a team-high seven assists. Sophomore Taylor Gittings scored 16 point on the night while freshman Taylor Johnson chipped in 14 points with five boards.
Up next, the Abbey will visit Barton on Saturday.