BRISTOL, TN - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team played at King (TN) in the first round of the Conference Carolinas tournament this evening. King won the contest 85-51 to move to 23-6 on the year. The Crusaders finish the 2016-17 season with an 11-17 record, and a 9-13 conference record.
The Abbey got off to a very hot start, with Megan Weidenhamer scoring a 3-pointer just 10 seconds into the game, and freshman Chrystal Ezechukwu scored four straight to give Crusaders an early 7-0 lead. The teams would battle each other to a 19-19 tie by the end of the quarter. In the second, it was the Crusader defense that shined, giving up just one Tornado basket in the first 4:45 of the period. After that, a King run made it 42-22 at halftime.
Belmont Abbey continued to fight, as Ezechukwu scored four points in the first 1:04 of the third quarter. King only got one basket on the Abbey in the final four minutes of the period, but led 61-39 going into the final quarter of play. In the fourth, the Crusaders continued to fight, causing multiple King turnovers. In the end, however, the Tornado took the game 85-51.
On the night, Ezechukwu led the Crusaders' offensive efforts with a game-high 16 points as well as six rebounds. Senior Gabrielle Bethel contributed with nine points and seven boards.