BELMONT, N.C. - Senior forward Emry Tsitouris scored 14 points and pulled down a season-high 20 rebounds in the Crusaders' 79-62 victory over Mt. Olive today. The win puts The Abbey at 8-4 on the season, with a 5-0 conference mark. The Trojans are now 4-8 with a 2-2 conference record.
The Abbey started the game off strong, getting off to a quick 5-0 lead. Mt. Olive did not score in the first four minutes of the contest. The team went on a 7-0 run in the last 1:37 of the quarter, to end the period with a 15-8 lead. After trading baskets in the early part of the second, The Abbey went on a 12-3 run over the last 3:52 of the quarter. This gave Belmont Abbey a 37-25 lead at halftime. Tsitouris grabbed seven rebounds in the second quarter, and 11 in the half.
The Abbey did not score in the first three minutes of the third, but a Tsitouris jumper ended the drought. Then the Crusader defense forced the Trojans into a three-minute scoring drought. Later in the period, Belmont Abbey went on a 10-run over a 2:25 span to take a 52-41 lead. Alex Busch ended the period with a three-pointer to give The Abbey a 58-45 advantage going into the final quarter.
Belmont Abbey started the fourth quarter off strong, not allowing a Trojan field goal over the first 3:35 of the period. In that span, the Crusaders increased their lead to 64-47, capped by a jumper from senior Briana Grier. In the final minute, Taylor Gittings hit a jump shot to score the final Abbey point of the game. The Crusaders won the contest 79-62. Belmont Abbey did not trail at any point in the game.
On the day, Tsitouris' 14 points and 20 boards led The Abbey's efforts. She also went 7-for-12 from the field. Freshman Maria Kuhlman scored 14 points and pulled down five rebounds. Freshman Allie Downing recorded 12 points and 8 boards. Keyanna Spivey grabbed nine rebounds, tying her career-high, while Briana Grier handed out a season-high eight assists.
Belmont Abbey will next face Emmanuel College (Ga.) on Friday, January 5. That game will tip-off at 2 p.m. in the Wheeler Center.