Richard's Double-Double Leads Belmont Abbey to Key Victory

Richard's Double-Double Leads Belmont Abbey to Key Victory

BELMONT, N.C. -- Deion Lane scored 16 points and Aidan Richard posted his first career double-double, leading Belmont Abbey to a key 76-62 Conference Carolinas victory over Mount Olive in men's basketball action on Wednesday night. Combined with a road win last Wednesday, the Crusaders swept the season series with the Trojans for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Richard tallied 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds while Lane added seven boards. Daniel Spencer had a season-high 12 points, while Jacob Wilson added 11. Tayon Gleaves of Mount Olive led all scorers with 21 points.

The first half started slowly as each team struggled from the floor, but Belmont Abbey (11-12, 7-8) capitalized on a 22.2% effort by Mount Olive for a 25-22 lead at the break. The Crusaders, who hit just 36.9 percent in the period, led 17-16 with 8:08 left, but two free throws, put the Trojans ahead for the first time, 18-17. After the teams traded baskets twice, the Crusaders hit four straight free throws over the final 2:20 for the three-point lead at the break.

Mount Olive (6-17, 5-10) opened the second half on a 6-2 run for a 28-27 lead, but Lane and Gunnar Hardarson canned three-pointers on back-to-back trips to put the Abbey back in front, 33-28. After the Trojans tallied five in a row to pull even, the Crusaders scored eight straight points to start a 16-3 run that pushed the lead to 13, 49-36.

The Trojans closed to within five twice near the three-minute mark, the last at 62-57, but Richard hit a layup and Lane and Ben Ferguson hit threes for a 70-60 lead. Belmont Abbey then, knocked down six of eight free throws in the final 58 seconds to preserve the win.

The Crusaders finished the game at 49.1 percent, while holding Mount Olive to 32.8 percent, and holding a 41-37 rebounding advantage.

Belmont Abbey continues its four-game homestand on Saturday night when it hosts North Greenville at 7:30 p.m.