BELMONT, NC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team earned a 74-57 win this afternoon over the University of Charleston. It was the first contest of the season inside the Wheeler Center. The Abbey is now 2-1 on the year, and the Golden Eagles are now 2-4.
The first quarter went back and forth with a tie and four lead changes. The period ended in a 15-12 Charleston advantage. The second quarter was all Abbey, which went on a 15-2 run in the first seven minutes of the period to gain a 27-17 lead. Guard Morgan Midkiff scored five of the first Crusader points during the spurt. Belmont Abbey took a 27-21 lead into halftime.
The Abbey opened up the third with the same offensive fire it had in the second. The Crusaders scored nine points in the first 3:06 of the period, opening up a 36-21 lead. During that same span, the stingy defense held the Golden Eagles scoreless. By the period's end, Belmont Abbey owned a 57-36 lead. In the fourth, A Marilyn Malphrus jumper gave the Abbey a 63-39 advantage, its largest of the day. At the end, the Crusaders won the contest 74-57.
On the day, five Crusaders scored in double figures, led by freshman Chrystal Ezechukwu's 12. Defensively, the team only allowed one Golden Eagle to reach double figures. Senior Alexius Hampton handed out a game-high 10 assists, and her nine rebounds were tied for the game's lead. Belmont Abbey also recorded 12 steals.
Head Coach Jason Williams offered the following comments on the game: "After an 11-day break, today was a great opportunity to show the hard work we've done over that duration. I'm very proud of our ladies and the hard work they've put in and the family atmosphere they're creating. It was shown on the court today with Alexius Hampton with 10 assists and five other players in double figures; Gabrielle Bethel, Taylor Gittings, Morgan Midkiff, Taylor Johnson, and Chrystal Ezechukwu. I look forward to continuing to improve daily and on this Thanksgiving eve I am thankful for this opportunity to coach these hard-working young ladies."
The Abbey will be back in action on Wednesday, November 30 when it welcomes Barton College at 5:30pm. It will be the first conference game of the season.