HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Belmont Abbey's women's basketball squad dropped a 65-60 decision at Coker this afternoon. The Crusaders are now 5-3. Coker now stands at 2-9.
The Crusaders only managed to score two points in the first quarter. The score was 16-2 by the period's end. The Abbey narrowed the gap early in the second with a 6-0 run to make it a 17-8 game. The stubborn Abbey defense then forced a 5:44 span in which it only surrendered one Cobra point. Two free throws by guard Taylor Johnson pulled the Crusaders within five at 25-20 at halftime. Belmont Abbey outscored Coker 18-9 in the second quarter.
The early part of the third went back and forth with the teams trading baskets. At the 1:46 mark, guard Larisa Bishop made a layup to make it a 39-35 game. At the end of the quarter, Belmont Abbey trailed 43-35. Forward Gabrielle Bethel scored each the first seven Abbey points in the fourth. The duo of Bethel and Alex Busch combined for 13 straight points for Belmont Abbey, which pulled to within one at 49-48 with 5:47 left in the game. At the end, the Crusaders did not grab the lead and lost the game 65-60.
On the day, Johnson scored a game-high 21 points. Bethel finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Chrystal Ezechukwu chipped in eight points and eight boards.
Belmont Abbey will return to action on Friday, Dec. 30 when it visits UNC Pembroke.