BELMONT, N.C. - Freshman guard Irelynn Davisson scored a career-high 18 points as Belmont Abbey earned a 98-61 victory over Johnson and Wales University of Charlotte. The Crusaders are now 5-3 on the season. The Wildcats moved to 7-3.
The Abbey trailed 10-7 early, but a 7-2 run put the Crusaders in front 15-12. A layup by senior Emry Tsitouris closed out the quarter, which was tied at 17. Belmont Abbey jumped out to a 22-17 lead to start the second, highlighted by a three-point shot by Allie Downing. A 3-pointer by Davisson gave the Crusaders a 29-27 advantage with 4:34 left in the half. The defense also stepped up, allowing just one Johnson and Wales basket in the final 2:36 of the period. At halftime, the Crusaders led 39-33.
Alex Busch nailed a 3-pointer to start the second half. The defense continued to prevent the Wildcats from scoring. A Maria Kuhlman 3-pointer put The Abbey in out 45-35. At the 5:49 mark, Davisson hit another 3 to give Belmont Abbey a 54-39 lead. Freshman Hannah Roney then made a 3-point shot at the clock expired to put the Crusaders in front 61-49 at the end of the quarter. The Crusader defense did not give up a Wildcat 3-point shot in the period.
Belmont Abbey went on a 7-2 run in a 1:30 span to go in front 68-53, capped by a Kuhlman three-pointer. With 4:44 to play, Downing nailed another 3-pointer to give the Crusaders a commanding 78-56 advantage. The Abbey went 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the quarter en route to a 98-61 victory. The Crusaders outscored the Wildcats 37-12 in the final quarter.
On the night, Davisson's career-high 18 points led the Crusaders. Downing contributed 16 points with eight boards. Tsitouris finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Briana Grier handed out a game-high five assists. As a unit, the Crusaders recorded 23 assists to Johnson and Wales' nine. The Crusaders also shot 50% from 3-point range, going 15-30.
Up next, Belmont Abbey will welcome conference opponent Southern Wesleyan on Saturday, December 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.