Belmont Abbey senior forward McKenzie Owen netted a game-high 28 points and became the 21st player in school history to reach 1,000 career points as the Crusaders women's basketball team won for the fourth-straight game with a 69-56 victory over Lees-McRae this evening inside the Wheeler Center. Belmont Abbey improves to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Conference Carolinas, while the Bobcats drop to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Owen netted 16 of her 28 in the first half as she scored her 1,000th career point on a free throw with 14:12 in the first that extended the Abbey's lead to 15-3.
Belmont Abbey never trailed in the game as it built a 43-23 lead at halftime on the strength of 40 percent shooting from the field and forcing 14 Bobcats turnovers. Seven players scored at least one point in the stanza, as Owen led all with 16 on six of 12 shooting from the field. Caitlyn Ranson and Alexandria Busch both added nine. The Crusaders dominated the boards by a 27-16 count.
Lees-McRae turned up the offense to begin the second half, as it chopped the Abbey's lead down to as few as six. The Bobcats outscored the Crusaders 33-26 in the second half as it began the final 20 minutes on a 16-2 jaunt that inched their deficit down to 45-39 with 13:17 to play.
Undeterred, the Crusaders answered right back by scoring the next 12 straight points, all from four different players, to extend the lead back to double figures for good. Owen capped off the run with a short jumper to move the lead to 55-39 with 11:30 to play.
From there, the Bobcats never closed to any fewer than 11 points as the Crusaders seized control to win by 13.
Owen's 28 points came on 11-22 shooting from the floor and six of eight from the line. She added eight rebounds, four steals, two assists, and a blocked shot. Ranson and Busch both finished with nine as Busch established a career-high.
21 of the Abbey's 28 field goals were assisted as Ashia Holmes dished out seven. Morgan Midkiff and Ranson both had two each with Tajanna Brown totaling four with a season-best 15 rebounds, ten on the offensive glass.
The Crusaders shot 37 percent from the field and forced 24 Bobcats turnovers.