TIGERVILLE, SC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team took North Greenville down to the last two minutes, but came up short of a win. The Abbey now stands at 10-16 on the season and 8-13 in conference play. North Greenville moved to 13-14 with a 10-11 conference record.
The Abbey came back from an early six-point deficit to tie the game at 16 late in the first. NGU led 20-18 at the end of the quarter. Center Taylor Gittings went six-for-six in the period. North Greenville kept trying to pull away in the second, but the Abbey kept within striking distance, aided largely by Gabrielle Bethel sinking six free throws, as well as senior Morgan Midkiff's seven points in the period. NGU led 44-34 at halftime.
The third quarter was all Abbey. The Abbey defense held North Greenville scoreless for a three-and-a-half minute stretch in the early part of the quarter. During the span, BAC went on a 10-0 run, including seven straight points by freshman forward Chrystal Ezechukwu. This narrowed the NGU lead to 50-49. In the later part of the quarter, junior Alex Busch scored eight points in a 3:11 span, giving the Abbey a 54-50 advantage. BAC led by as many as six, and led 57-53 when the quarter expired. Belmont Abbey outscored North Greenville 23-9 in the period.
The fourth quarter was back and forth, with neither team gaining a huge lead. Gittings made a layup at the 3:00 mark to put the Abbey in front 66-62. With 1:48 to play, however, NGU made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 68, and did not give up that lead for the rest of the contest. North Greenville won 73-69 at the end.
On the night, Gittings was the Abbey's leading scorer with 16. Ezechukeu chipped in 11 points, with a team-leading seven rebounds. Midkiff's five assists led the Abbey, while Briana Grier and Taylor Headen each handed out four.
Belmont Abbey concludes its regular season on Friday, when it visits Pfeiffer for a 5:30pm tip-off.