BELMONT, N.C. -- Deion Lane tallied a team-season-best 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but a second-half surge propelled King to an 88-81 men's basketball victory over Belmont Abbey Saturday afternoon at the Wheeler Center. Lane connected on 13 of his 21 attempts from the field, including two of four from three-point range.
Three other Crusaders reached double figures led by 13 by Jacob Wilson, who also added six rebounds. Ben Ferguson chipped in 12, while Troy Henderson posted 11 and six rebounds. Drexler Clark dished out a game-high nine assists.
Belmont Abbey (9-11, 5-7) opened the game on a 9-2 run, but King (11-10, 8-5) scored nine in a row to start a 23-7 run that made the score 25-16 at the 9:42 mark. The difference was still eight, 40-32, when the Crusaders answered with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 42. Each team hit a pair of free throws after that for a 44-44 tie at intermission.
The Tornado opened the second half with back-to-back three-pointers and never relinquised the lead. The margin reached as many as 13, the last at 80-67 with 4:04 left, but the Crusaders never quit. An 8-0 run expanded to 11-2, trimming the gap to four, 82-78, with 52 seconds remaining. But King, which hit all 16 free throw attempts in the game, made six in the final 21 ticks to preserve the victory.
Belmont Abbey begins a two-game road swing on Wednesday at Mount Olive.