BELMONT, N.C. - Senior forward Emry Tsitouris scored a season-high 24 points and Belmont Abbey took a 79-71 victory over Converse College this evening. With the win, The Abbey moves to 16-6 on the year, with a 13-2 Conference Carolinas record. The Valkyries are now 8-14 overall and 4-10 in conference play. Belmont Abbey clinched home court advantage in the first round of the Conference Carolinas tournament.
The early part of the first quarter went back and forth, with neither team building a lead of more than two for the first six minutes of the game. At the end of the quarter, Converse led 20-19. In the second, The Abbey came out strong. The Crusaders only gave up one Valkyrie field goal in the first five minutes of the period. In that span, Belmont Abbey went on a 12-2 run. Tsitouris sunk two free throws to cap the Abbey scoring in the period, and the Crusaders led 36-31 at halftime.
In the third, the teams again went back and forth early. Then, each of the Crusaders last five points of the quarter came off free throws. The team made nine of ten free throws in the period and led 58-50 heading into the final period. Maria Kuhlman made three free throws to open up the fourth. The Abbey closed the game by making 11 of 11 free throws in the fourth, finishing off the 79-71 victory.
On the day, Tsitouris led The Abbey with 24 points. She also grabbed five rebounds. Allie Downing scored 20 points, pulled down six boards, and blocked two shots. Briana Grier dished out seven assists. Belmont Abbey made 28 of its 31 free throws on the night, accounting for more than a third of The Abbey's points.
Up next for Belmont Abbey will be a home game on Wednesday, February 7 against Barton. Tip off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.