WILSON, N.C. - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team lost a 75-69 game at Barton College this afternoon. The defeat puts the Crusaders at 8-8 on the season and 6-5 in conference play. Barton is now 10-7 overall and 7-4 against conference opponents.
The Crusaders fell into an early deficit, but went on a 10-0 run to take a 12-8 lead. Barton pulled to within a point, but Taylor Johnson recorded four points in less than a minute as the Abbey owned a 21-18 lead after the opening quarter. The Bulldogs scored first in the second period, but the Abbey responded with a quick 6-0 run to take a 27-21 lead. Later in the period, the Crusaders held Barton scoreless for two and a half minutes. At the 4:42 mark, a Larisa Bishop 3-pointer gave Belmont Abbey another six-point advantage. The Abbey, however, trailed at halftime 37-32. At the break, Chrystal Ezechukwu's 10 points led the game.
The early part of the third was back and forth, with the margin staying between five and eight. In the latter part of the quarter, Belmont Abbey went on a 7-0 run over a 2:20 span to pull within a point, capped by a layup by forward Marilyn Malphrus. The Bulldogs led 55-50 at the end of the quarter. The Abbey hung close throughout the fourth, and with 3:27 left in the game Johnson made a layup to give the Abbey its first lead of the half. The lead continued to swing back and forth in the closing minutes. At the end, Barton got the win, 75-69.
On the day, Ezechukwu earned a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, both game-highs. Senior Gabrielle Bethel scored 12 points with seven rebounds, while Johnson chipped in 13 points.
Belmont Abbey will next play on Tuesday, January 24 at Limestone College.