Belmont Abbey freshman guard Nick Hough led four Crusaders in double figures with a career-high 18 points as the Crusaders men's basketball team fell 93-65 to the visiting Saint Augustine's Falcons before 1,236 in attendance-mostly elementary and middle school students-on Gaston County Schools Day. The Falcons improve to 6-4, while the Crusaders fall to 0-10.
This afternoon's game was the last of a four game homestand for the Crusaders, which now embarks on a four game road trip starting with Saturday's 4:00 p.m. tipoff against Queens.
Today's meeting between the Abbey and Saint Augustine's was just the second in the series and the first since the 1980 NAIA District 26 Regional Final, which was also won by the Falcons.
Saint Augustine's never trailed after being down 3-2 on a Drexler Clark three pointer as it began the contest with a 13-5 run to seize control early. Belmont Abbey cut the lead down to 19-17 on a 12-4 run that came from four three-point field goals by four different players: Hough, Deion Lane, Kendall Ratliff and Ray Chen.
The Falcons responded by scoring the next seven points to stretch their lead to a comfortable margin, as the advantage rose to as high as 13 points. The lead was 46-36 at the half after Chen closed the scoring with three free throws with four seconds left.
Both teams shot very well in the first half, as the Falcons made 51 percent of their shots, with the Crusaders making exactly half, but the Abbey was undone by 11 first half turnovers.
Saint Augustine's pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Abbey 47-29 as the lead grew to as high as 30.
Belmont Abbey shot 45 percent for the game as Hough led the way with 18 points-11 coming from the free throw line-in 37 minutes. Ratliff added 14 and six rebounds, while Lane and Chen both netted 12.