GAFFNEY, SC - The Belmont Abbey women's basketball team lost an 80-58 decision at Limestone College this evening. The Crusaders now stand at 8-9 on the season, including 6-6 against Conference Carolinas opponents. Limestone is now 15-3 overall and 11-1 in conference games.
While the Saints went on a run early in the game, sophomore Taylor Johnson got some offense going for the Crusaders with a jumper. By the end of the first, Limestone had a 19-7 lead. There were still some bright spots for the Abbey, whose defense held Limestone to 31.6% shooting, while also grabbing seven defensive rebounds. Senior Gabrielle Bethel scored each of the first four Crusader points of the second, sinking two free throws at the 7:02 mark. By that point, the rebounding continued to keep the Abbey within striking distance. The primary scoring source from Belmont Abbey in the period came from free throws, which produced seven of the team's 13 points of the quarter. Center Taylor Gittings did score the last points of the half on a layup from Alex Busch. Limestone led at the half 41-20.
Belmont Abbey started out the third quarter hot, scoring eight of the period's first ten points, including two 3-pointers by Johnson. At the 6:28 mark, a Johnson free throw gave the Crusaders an 11-4 advantage in the quarter. A 3-pointer by guard Morgan Midkiff pulled the Abbey to within 13, their closest margin since the first quarter, at 47-34. The Saints did end the quarter on a run and Belmont Abbey trailed 58-38 heading into the final period. The Crusaders, though, outscored Limestone in the period 18-17.
In the fourth, Belmont Abbey again began the period out very strong, scoring each of the quarter's first five points. A Bethel free throw capped another run by the Abbey, making it 64-47. At the 2:08 mark, Gittings hit a layup and hit an ensuing free throw, giving her 19 points on the night and 10 of the last 11 Crusader points. At the end, Limestone took the game 80-58.
On the evening, Gittings led the Abbey with a season-high 19 points and six boards. Johnson contributed 13 points. Senior Larisa Bishop handed out four assists.
Belmont Abbey will be back in action on Friday at 5:30pm, when it welcomes Lees-McRae College to the Wheeler Center.