CLINTON, S.C. -- Belmont Abbey's 2016-17 men's basketball season started in memorable fashion Wednesday night as the Crusaders took Division I member Presbyterian to four overtimes before falling 124-118. The contest, the first of three exhibitions on the schedule, marked the debut of first-year head coach Billy Taylor.
Freshman Gunnar Hardarson led five players in double figures with 25 points, while Ben Ferguson (23) and Drexler Clark (20) also topped 20. Deion Lane chipped in 18 while Jacob Wilson had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Belmont Abbey led 43-35 at the break after hitting 50 percent from the field, but the Blue Hose rallied for a 79-79 tie after regulation by hitting two free throws with eight seconds left. The Crusaders led by as many as six points in the first overtime, but the game stayed tied 94-94, forcing more time.
Each team scored six in the second overtime and 11 in the third, setting up the fourth overtime. Presbyterian could have ended things in third, but made only one of two free throws with one second remaining.
The Blue Hose scored six straight points midway through the fourth overtime to turn a 117-116 lead to 123-116, then hung on for the win.
Belmont Abbey continues its exhibition slate on Friday when it travels to Davidson.