PEMBROKE, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team lost a 73-64 decision at UNC Pembroke this afternoon. The defeat puts the Crusaders' record at 5-4, while the Braves move to 6-3.
The lead went back and forth in the opening minutes as the teams traded baskets. Near the end of the period, Belmont Abbey held the Braves scoreless for about three minutes as they took a two-point lead. The teams were tied at 13 at the end of the period. In the second, seniors Gabrielle Bethel and Larisa Bishop combined for 14 of the team's 16 points. The Abbey trailed 38-29 at halftime.
The Crusaders opened up the second half very strong. After trailing 40-29, the Abbey went on a 7-0 run capped by a Morgan Midkiff 3-pointer just 2:12 into the period. Center Taylor Gittings hit a trio of free throws, and Chrystal Ezechukwu scored three points at the end of the quarter, and Belmont Abbey won the third by a 17-15 score. The team trailed 53-46 at the quarter's end.
Midkiff hit a 3-pointer to pull the Abbey within seven at 62-55 with 5:44 left in the game. Then she hit another at the 4:46 mark to make it a 66-59 game. The Crusaders, however, did not get closer than seven points as UNC Pembroke won the contest 73-64.
On the day, Bethel scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Ezechukwu pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. She also handed out a team-high four assists.
Belmont Abbey will be back on the court on Tuesday, Jan. 3 when it welcomes the Emmanuel Lions.