BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball squad lost a 91-76 decision to Mt. Olive this evening. The loss puts the Crusaders at 9-13 on the year, with a 7-10 Conference Carolinas record. The Trojans are now 18-4 and 15-2 in conference play.
The Abbey fell into a seven-point deficit early, but tied it up at 16 at the 3:08 mark. The rest of the quarter was spent trading baskets, and the Trojans held a 26-20 lead at the end of the period. In the second, Belmont Abbey pulled to within five early. The team continued to hang tough, keeping within striking range. At the 1:44 mark, a jumper by senior Gabrielle Bethel made it a 49-41 Mt. Olive lead, but that was the closest the Abbey would come in the quarter, as it trailed 55-41 at halftime.
In the third, Mt. Olive made a run early, but junior Briana Grier went on a 4-0 run by herself to stop the bleeding. Also, the Crusader defense only surrendered one field goal in the final four minutes of the quarter. The Trojans led 73-52 heading into the final period. In the fourth, the Abbey put on a show, scoring each of the period's first eight points. It pulled to within 12 at 77-65 with 5:32 to play. A three-pointer by senior Larisa Bishop made it an 11-point contest, and she later made it a single-digit deficit at the 2:12 mark. The Abbey kept playing stubborn defense, making a hard effort to gain a lead. In the end, however, it was unable to overcome the deficit and lost the contest 91-76.
On the night, Bishop scored 19 points to lead the Crusaders, going 7-15 from the field. Junior Taylor Gittings scored 16 and grabbed six rebounds, while freshman Chrystal Ezechukwu scored 10 and pulled down eight boards. Bethel blocked three Trojan shots.
Belmont Abbey will be back on the court on Saturday, when it hosts North Greenville at 5:30pm.