By John Fitzgerald
As Belmont Abbey senior Ray Chen walked off the floor following the Abbey's 91-81 win over North Greenville, he was smiling about two things: his team's win and his personal victory of reaching the 1,000-point career scoring mark. He needed one point coming into tonight's contest to reach that milestone. He scored 26.
The win improved the Abbey's record to 8-15 overall with a 5-11 conference record. North Greenville dipped to 7-14 with a conference record of 4-10.
Belmont Abbey raced to an early lead, with sophomore Nick Hough scoring six points in the game's first five minutes, all in the paint. The Abbey, which led by as many as 11, maintained its lead the entire half, taking a 50-41 lead into halftime.
The Belmont Abbey Crusaders also began the second half strong, building a 15-point lead 12:37 to play. North Greenville did not back off, however, as it made a 10-2 run late in the half to pull within six. At the end, the Abbey earned a 91-81 win.
Chen's 26 points were a game-high, while Hough finished with 22. Chen also dished out a game-high seven assists. Sophomore Deion Lane contributed 19 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Nicholas Fullard chipped in six boards.
The Abbey will next welcome Bluefield State on Friday night.