SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- DeQuan Abrom scored 31 points and Romeao Ferguson added 20, leading No. 2 seed Belmont Abbey to an 82-72 victory over third-seeded Emmanuel Saturday night in the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament.
With the win, the Crusaders (21-9) advance to the final for the third straight year. They will face No. 4 seed Southern Wesleyan, a 92-77 upset winner over top-seeded King in the first semifinal.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Abrom (13 of 13) and Ferguson (12 of 12) combined to make all 25 free throws they attempted. As a team, the Abbey hit 29 of 32 (90.6 percent)
- Charles Solomon led the team in rebounds with eight, while adding seven points.
- Belmont Abbey limited Emmanuel to 35.8 percent shooting from the floor, the second-best defensive effort of the season. The Lions' 12.5 percent effort from three (3 of 24) was the lowest of the year by an opponent.
- The Crusaders were outrebounded 42-39, but forced two more turnovers (17 to 15).
- After allowing the opening basket, The Abbey scored eight straight points to take an early lead. Later, with the score 21-20 in favor of the Lions, a 10-0 run pushed the lead to nine, 30-21, and the Crusaders never trailed again. The lead at the break was 41-31.
- The second half opened with another 10 straight points by BAC, pushing the margin to 20, 51-31.
- Emmanuel (18-13) didn't quit, closing to within six at the 1:17 mark, but Ferguson hit four free throws and Abrom added a pair over the remaining time to seal win.
- Belmont Abbey, ranked eighth in last week's NCAA Division II Southeast Regional poll, looks to earn the league's automatic bid against Southern Wesleyan.
- The teams split the regular-season series with each team winning on the road. The Warriors won 84-72 in Belmont on Jan. 11, while the Crusaders responded with a 105-80 victory in Central on Feb. 15.
- In the two previous championship-game appearances, The Abbey played on the road, first as the No. 8 seed, then as the No. 2 seed.