BELMONT, N.C. - Belmont Abbey battled back from a 26-point deficit early in the second half, closing to within eight midway through the fourth quarter, but could not complete the comeback in a 62-51 setback to Erskine in Conference Carolinas women's basketball quarterfinal action on Monday. Belmont Abbey finishes its season 19-9. Erskine is now 8-19. With the win, the seventh-seeded Flying Fleet advance to the semifinals at No. 3 seed Barton on Thursday.
Belmont Abbey led 7-4 in the game's first 2:35, then broke a 7-7 tie with a 9-2 run that increased the margin to seven, 16-9. But Erskine hit a three at the 3:20 mark, and neither team scored for the rest of the period. The Flying Fleet used a 17-0 run over 6:38 to outscore The Abbey 29-3 in the second quarter. Erskine made 13 field goals during the period, while the Crusaders made just one. At halftime, Erskine led 41-19.
Keyanna Spivey sparked a 7-0 run in the third to get the Crusader offense going again. During that span, the defense forced Erskine into a scoring drought that lasted over four minutes. A 3-pointer by Maria Kuhlman brought The Abbey closer at 49-35, which was the score going into the final quarter. Belmont Abbey outscored the Flying Fleet 16-8 during the period, and only two Erskine players scored in the quarter. Kuhlman capped an 8-0 run to pull the Crusaders within 10, 53-43, at the 5:56 mark. She later made another 3 to make it a 58-49 game. Erskine, however, closed out the game with a 62-51 win.
Kuhlman returned from a five-game injury absence to lead the Crusaders with 14 points. Spivey added 10 points, while Emry Tsitouris scored nine and grabbed 13 rebounds.