GREENVILLE, Tenn. - Emry Tsitouris scored a game-high 17 points, but the Crusaders dropped a 77-55 decision to host Tusculum. The Abbey now sits at 1-3 on the year. The Pioneers are now 3-0.
The teams traded baskets early, before a Tusculum run put the Pioneers in front by nine. Tusculum led 23-9 at the end of the first quarter. In the second, the Crusaders scored five points in a 41-second span to make it a 29-14 game. A three-pointer by freshman Allie Downing brought the Crusaders to within 11, its closest margin of the period. Tusculum, however, had a halftime lead of 41-25. Keyanna Spivey and Tsitouris each scored seven points in the half to lead The Abbey.
Tsitouris scored each of the first Crusader points of the third. Later in the quarter, Belmont Abbey made six straight free throws in a span of 33 seconds to bring the Tusculum lead to 56-39. In the final minute of the period, Tsitouris converted a free throw for a three-point play to make it a 61-42 Pioneer lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Maria Kuhlman made a layup to begin the fourth, and narrow Tusculum's lead. Senior Taylor Gittings would score three straight points for The Abbey, but the Pioneers finished the game with a 77-55 win.
On the day, Tsitouris was the Crusaders' leading scorer and rebounder, with 17 and six, respectively. Freshmen Allie Downing and Spivey each scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds. Keyla Hines also scored eight.
Belmont Abbey will be back in action on Tuesday, November 21, when it welcomes Coker College for a 5:30 p.m. matchup.