Belmont Abbey senior forward McKenzie Owen led all scorers with 20 points but the Crusaders women's basketball team lost to Newberry 79-57 this afternoon in Hartsville, South Carolina on the campus of Coker College in the season opener for both teams.
The Crusaders will take on the hosts tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. before opening the home schedule Wednesday night at 5:30 against Barton.
Newberry opened the game on a 7-0 run and never looked back as the Wolves never trailed. Belmont Abbey closed the lead to 7-4 an would eventually chip it down to 11-10, but Newberry used a late run to lead 39-23 at the break.
The Wolves shot 48 percent in the first half while limiting the Crusaders to a 31 percent output with 12 turnovers. Owen totaled eight of her 20 points in the half.
Belmont Abbey opened the second half on a 9-0 burst to close the deficit to seven, but a Wolves three pointer on their next possession moved the edge back to double figures. The Crusaders could not close to any fewer than eight points as Newberry rode a wave of hot shooting to up its lead to as high as 19 points.
Owen led all scorers with 20 points on 9-21 shooting from the floor to go along with eight rebounds and a steal. Amari Moreland, Caitlyn Ranson and Tajanna Brown all netted eight. Morgan Midkiff handed out four assists. The Crusaders shot 36 percent (25-69) from the field but was just 2-8 (25 percent) from three-point range.
The Crusaders went to the line six times, converting five, while the Wolves attempted 25 free throws, sinking 22 of those.