BELMONT, N.C. -- Liam Maxwell had 11 kills and Robert Valentine added 11 digs, but Belmont Abbey dropped a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-19) decision to King in men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders pushed the league-leading Tornado in each set, forcing 16 ties and six lead changes throughout the match.
King (7-1, 3-0) had a pair of players reach double figures in kills in outhitting The Abbey .288 to .163. The Crusaders registered 8.5 blocks to the Tornado's six.
Belmont Abbey (2-5, 1-3) broke a 4-4 tie in the first with a 4-0 run that turned into 7-1. King rallied to even the set at 15-15, then with the score tied at 19 used back-to-back points for a 21-19 lead. The Crusaders tallied four of the next five points for a 23-22 advantage, but two kills around a service ace led to a 25-23 King victory.
In the second set, Belmont Abbey never led, but rallied from a 16-9 deficit to nearly take a late lead. An 8-3 run closed the gap to 19-17, then the Crusaders later saved two set points in the 25-22 setback.
King made a run in the final set after falling behind 4-1. It tied the score at 7-7, then broke a 9-9 tie with consecutive points. With the score 11-10, the Tornado tallied three straight and nine of the next 13 points for a 20-14 lead. Belmont Abbey closed to within three, 21-18 and 22-19, but could never get closer.
The Crusaders continue their homestand Tuesday with a 7 p.m. Conference Carolinas match against Pfeiffer.