CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Deion Lane scored a season-high 19 points, but Johnson C. Smith shot 54.2 percent from the field to earn an 82-69 victory over the Crusaders Friday night at Brayboy Gymnasium.
After scoring the game's first basket, the Crusaders fell behind 7-2. Wilson ended the run with a three, but continued with an 11-2 run to push the lead to double-digits, 18-7. Later in the period, Belmont Abbey was down 10, but used an 8-2 surge to close to within four. After a JCSU score, another Wilson triple cut the margin to three, 36-33 at the 4:22 mark. However, the Golden Bulls ended the half on an 11-4 run to lead 47-37 at the break.
The hosts started the second half with four straight points, but The Abbey answered with seven in a row to trail 51-44. The Crusader had a chance to close within two a couple minutes later, but a missed three started a 12-2 run that included nine in a row to push the lead to 15, 65-50, at the midway point.
The difference reached 20 before LJ McCoy hit two late threes to pull the Crusaders to the final margin.
The Golden Bulls' shooting total was the best against Belmont Abbey this season. The Crusaders' 19 turnovers led to 26 points.
Belmont Abbey has a chance to rebound quickly as it hosts Bluefield to the Wheeler Center tomorrow night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.