BANNER ELK, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey placed four players in double figures and shot 52.0 percent from the field to post a 74-71 victory over Lees-McRae Monday night. The game was a make-up contest for one originally scheduled for Saturday, but postponed due to weather.
The Crusaders (6-8, 2-4) connected on 26 of 50 attempts overall and nine of 18 from beyond the three-point range, plus held a 40-32 rebounding advantage. Defensively, The Abbey limited Lees-McRae to 42.6 percent shooting.
Belmont Abbey opened a 42-35 halftime lead with its best shooting half of the year, 65.2 percent (15 of 23). Troy Henderson started the scoring wth a layup, then Jacob Wilson followed with a three for a 5-0 lead. The lead reached double figures for the first time, 20-10, on a Clark three with 12:27 remaining. The margin reached its biggest point at 28-12 on another Henderson layup with 10:35 left in the period.
The Bobcats clawed back, tying the game at 51-all with 13:36 to play. The Abbey answered with seven straight points, but a 12-4 run by gave Lees-McRae its first lead, 63-32 wth 5:21 to play. The teams traded the lead five times over the next two-plus minutes until Ferguson hit a jumper to put the Crusaders ahead for good, 69-68. Wilson followed with a layup for a three-point advantage, but a pair of LMC free throws cut the margin to one, 71-70 with 48 seconds left.
Each team made one of two free throws before Richard put Belmont Abbey ahead by three towh two from the charity stripe with eight seconds to play. A three-point attempt to tie the game with two seconds to play was unsuccessful.
Belmont Abbey returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Southern Wesleyan.