BELMONT, N.C. - Freshman Maria Kuhlman scored 20 points as the Crusaders rolled past Coker College 60-49 this evening. The win puts The Abbey at 2-3 on the season. Coker is also 2-3.
The Crusader defense came out strong from the start, allowing just two six and a half minutes of the game. At the end of the quarter, the Crusaders held a 14-6 advantage. The Abbey also outrebounded the Cobras 12-4 in the period. In the middle of the second quarter, Coker pulled close, but a three-pointer by senior Alex Busch increased the Abbey lead to 19-14. Again, the Belmont Abbey defense was exceptional, holding Coker scoreless for the last 5:37 of the period. At halftime, the Crusaders led 22-14.
Senior Emry Tsitouris made two free throws and a jump shot early in the third to put the Crusaders in front 28-18. The Kuhlman hit two three-pointers in a row for a 34-26 Abbey lead. She scored 11 in the quarter. After three quarters, Belmont Abbey held a 38-30 lead. Kuhlman opened up the fourth with a layup. Again, the defensive efforts were outstanding, as the Crusaders on allowed two Coker points in the first 5:15 of the period. Another 3-point shot by Kuhlman gave the Crusaders a commanding 48-32 lead at the 5:13 mark. In the final 30 seconds of the game, The Abbey hit five of its six free throws to finish off the 60-49 win.
On the night, Kuhlman's 20 points were a game-high. She also grabbed five rebounds. Tsitouris contributed eight points and pulled down 14 boards. Keyla Hines handed out five assists.
Belmont Abbey will next open conference play with a visit to Barton College on Wednesday, November 29. That game will tip off at 5:30 p.m.