Belmont Abbey junior forward McKenzie Owen led all scorers with 20 points and sophomore guard Morgan Midkiff added ten and the Crusaders held Converse to just 18 field goals-with just one coming from three-point range-as the women's basketball team increased their winning streak to four with an easy 66-51 road win over the Valkyries this evening. Belmont Abbey improves to 11-5 overall and 5-1 in Conference Carolinas, while the Valkyries drop to 0-14 overall and 0-6 in Conference Carolinas.
Belmont Abbey remains tied atop the Conference Carolinas standings, but with one less team. Belmont Abbey and Limestone have identical 5-1 league records but Barton's 84-72 loss at Lees-McRae moves the Bulldogs one game back.
The Crusaders shot 35 percent from the field and converted six of 16 from three point range. For the second time in the last three games, the Abbey forced its opponent to record more turnovers than made shots. Converse made just 18 shots while turning the ball over 21 times.
Belmont Abbey overcame a strong start by Converse, as the Valkryies opened the game on a 5-0 run, but the Crusaders put the game away early with a 12-2 run in response to grab a 12-7 lead.
The lead grew to 32-13 with four minutes left and the advantage was 36-18 at the half as Owen scored ten of the Abbey's final 15 points in the stanza. She totaled 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half while Midkiff added eight.
The second half was all Crusaders, as their lead rose to as high as 30 at 52-22 with 14:22 left on a jumper from Kelsey Long.
Converse's offense came alive in the last 7:41, scoring nearly half its point total for the game in the span-23 points-but the Valkyries could only get the Abbey's lead down to 13, which came with 31 seconds left in the contest.
Tajanna Brown closed the scoring on a layup with 10 seconds left to provide the winning 15 point margin.