BELMONT, N.C. -- Drexler Clark celebrated senior night with a career-high 32 points, including 20 in a commanding first half, lifting Belmont Abbey to a 100-69 Conference Carolinas victory over Southern Wesleyan Saturday night at the Wheeler Center. Clark, who hit 11 of 16 overall, including five of seven from three-point range, tallied 21 points in the opening period.
Clark also added seven assists and three rebounds to his total with four other players reaching double figures -- Deion Lane (15), Jacob Wilson (12), Ben Ferguson and senior Kendall Ratliff (10). Darius Sharpe led Southern Wesleyan with 25 points.
With the victory, combined with a Lees-McRae, the Crusaders are locked into the No. 5 seed at the Conference Carolinas Championship later this month. They will face the No. 4 team on the road on Tuesday, February 28.
Belmont Abbey (13-13, 9-9) trailed early by a 6-3 count, but gained a 17-2 run over the next 4:28 to take control of the contest. Ratliff scored the first two baskets, then Clark hit a pair of threes and a layup to start the surge. The Crusaders held a 54-23 at halftime by shooting 62.1 percent (18 of 29).
The contest marked the final home contest in the careers of two other seniors, Tyler Horn and Sean Moriarty. All four seniors were a member of the starting lineup and tallied points, Horn four on a couple of field goals and Moriarty on a three-pointer late in the second half.
Southern Wesleyan held The Abbey even (46-46) in the second half, primarily by shooting 60.0 percent. However, the Crusaders connected on 54.3 percent to finish at 57.8 percent for the game. The hosts also held a 36-24 rebounding advantage.
Belmont Abbey finishes the season with a pair of road games, Tuesday at North Greenville and Friday at Pfeiffer.