February 22, 2011

Strong second half pushes Crusaders past Bobcats

Box score

BELMONT, N.C. --- The Belmont Abbey College women's basketball team outscored Lees-McRae College by a 26-16 margin in the second half, and held the Bobcats to a 22 percent clip from the floor over the final 20 minutes en route to a 61-47 win in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday evening.

Belmont Abbey (12-13, 11-8 CC) won the battle on the glass by a 42-33 margin, while holding Lees-McRae (6-17, 6-12 CC) to a field goal percentage of 35.7 percent for the game despite a 48.3 percent clip by the Bobcats in the first half.

Janina Thurau (Berlin, Germany) paced the Bobcats with 10 points and eight rebounds, as Melissa Jensen (Aarhus, Denmark) posted eight markers and five boards. Paige Whitaker (Harrisburg, N.C.) and Amber Coleman (Alexandria, Va.) each posted six points, while Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) chipped in six rebounds.

Shayla Jackson (Knoxville, Tenn.) poured in a game-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Belmont Abbey, while Melisa Foures (Kernersville, N.C.) added a double-double with 15 markers and a contest-best 10 rebounds. Kelsey Long (Pilot Mountain, N.C.) chipped in 10 points of her own, as Candace Fox (Thomasville, N.C.) posted game-highs of seven assists and five steals.

Lees-McRae opened the game strong, taking an early 4-0 lead before Belmont Abbey responded, countering with an 18-6 run to take an 18-10 advantage on a Jackson jumper at the 12:24 mark. The Bobcats began to claw back over the next eight minutes, answering with a 14-8 spurt to trim the margin to 26-24 on a layup by Erin Thompson (Ashburn, Va.) with 5:44 left in the half.

After the Bobcats cut the lead to 28-27 on a Thurau triple, Belmont Abbey then closed out the half with a 7-4 run to take a 35-31 advantage into the intermission. The Abbey carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period on an 11-4 run to push the margin to 46-34 on a Fox layup with 15:01 to play.

Whitaker answered with a triple to cut the lead to 46-37 at the 14:11 mark before Belmont Abbey regained control, launching a 7-2 run to push the advantage to 53-39 on a Fox three-pointer with 9:27 to play. The Abbey would maintain the double-digit advantage from there, closing out the win with a 5-2 spurt to equal the final margin of 61-47.

Lees-McRae returns to the hardwood on Thursday when the Bobcats travel to Gaffney, S.C. for a 5:30 p.m. matchup with Limestone College. The Saints won the season's previous meeting by a 71-57 margin on Feb. 15.

- LMC -