BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball squad lost an 83-73 decision this evening to North Greenville in the Wheeler Center. With the defeat, the Abbey moves to 9-14 on the season with a 7-11 conference mark. North Greenville is now 10-14 and 7-11 in Conference Carolinas play.
The first quarter was back and forth, with multiple ties and lead changes throughout the period. The Abbey gained an 11-9 lead on an 8-2 run with 2:50 left in the quarter. Freshman Chrystal Ezechukwu scored six points in the final 30 seconds of the period, and the game was tied at 18 when the quarter expired. After an NGU run in the second, a layup by Ezechukwu pulled the Abbey to within one at 24-23. After another North Greenville run, senior Gabrielle Bethel scored five points in a 35-second span to keep Belmont Abbey within striking range. At halftime, NGU led 42-38. Bethel and Ezechukwu combined for 12 of the team's points in this quarter, as well as five of the team's seven boards.
The teams kept trading baskets in the third. 4-0 runs by Ezechukwu and center Taylor Gittings made it 57-52 at the 2:40 mark. Guard Briana Grier nailed a jumper in the closing seconds of the quarter to pull the team within six at 62-56 to end the frame. Belmont Abbey fell behind by 11 in the fourth, but continued to fight. Bethel made a layup to pulled the team within nine. Grier nailed a jumper to create a similar margin. But in the end, the Abbey lost the game 83-73.
On the night, Bethel led the offensive effort with 20 points and eight rebounds. She also blocked two NGU shots. Ezechukwu scored 17 and also grabbed eight boards. Grier chipped in nine points, five rebounds, and handed out three assists.
Belmont Abbey will next take to the court on Wednesday, February 15 when it hosts Pfeiffer.