BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team won 72-64 over Converse in the Wheeler Center this evening. The win improves the Abbey's record to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in Conference Carolinas play. Converse is now 1-4 and 1-2 against conference opponents. It is the third year in a row the Crusaders started out 2-0 in conference play.
While the Abbey fell behind early, trailing 11-2, the team quickly turned the first quarter around, ending the period on a 15-0 run. The run was highlighted by guard Taylor Johnson's seven points and two steals. The second quarter was back and forth, with four ties and three lead changes. At halftime, the teams were tied at 32.
In the third, Converse scored an early basket to go up by two. After that, the Crusaders never trailed. With 3:10 to go in the period senior Morgan Midkiff sunk a free throw to put Belmont Abbey up by six, its largest lead of the night to that point. When the quarter ended, the Abbey owned a 47-43 lead.
The Crusaders went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth and gain a 56-45 advantage. The Valkyries tied the game at 62 with 1:42 to play, but the Abbey responded with a 10-2 run to finish the contest. At the end, Belmont Abbey took a 72-64 victory.
Forward Gabrielle Bethel recorded her second double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Johnson scored 15 and got eight boards. The Crusaders recorded eight steals as a team. Defensively, The Abbey only surrendered four Converse 3-pointers and only allowed the Valkyries to shoot 36.5% for the game.
Head Coach Jason Williams offered his thoughts on the game, stating: "In the path of finding our true identity, it's not always going to be pretty. Our young ladies did a fantastic job of executing down the stretch, and playing with exceptional poise. Out of 14 assists, 12 came from our two point guards, Alexius Hampton and Briana Grier. We also got big contributions tonight from a slew of individuals. I look forward to getting better on Monday"
Belmont Abbey will next visit Erskine College on Saturday, December 10 for a 2pm tip-off.