BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Sophomore DeQuan Abrom led three players in double figures with 31 points, but a second-half rally fell short in a 91-88 setback at King Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action. Jacob Wilson tallied 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Deion Lane chipped in 15 points.
The Crusaders (6-6, 2-2) scored a season-best 61 points in the second half, but came up just short at the end of regulation. Wilson missed two three-point attempts in the final seven seconds that could have forced overtime.
Both teams started slowly, shooting under 36 percent, as the Tornado (7-4, 3-0) led 34-27 at the break. The Abbey held a 14-9 advantage at the 12:51 mark, but saw King score 12 straight points to take the lead. Abrom led all scorers with 12 in the period.
The second half was a different story as the Crusaders enjoyed their best shooting period of the season. They hit 60.0 percent (21-of-35) from the field, including 10-of-14 from three-point range. King led 76-56 with 8:07 to play before a furious rally. A 12-0 run closed the gap to eight, 76-68, by the 5:09 mark, but the Tornado called a timeout and was able to push the lead back to 10 with a pair of free throws.
Later, down 86-80 with 51 seconds left, Abrom made a layup and Ben Ferguson hit a three after a King free throw to make the score 87-85 at the 31-second mark. The Tornado made three straight free throws to push the lead back to five, but Wilson hit a three with 19 ticks left to keep The Abbey alive. Another free throw put the lead back at three, but the Crusaders were unable to force overtime with another triple.
Belmont Abbey enters its Christmas break having alternated wins and losses throughout the first 12 games of the season. The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Dec. 30 at home against St. Augustines.