The Lees-McRae women's basketball team saw three players registered double figures, including a season-high 24 from Lauren Lewis, but it wasn't enough while Belmont Abbey picked up a 77-66
victory in Conference Carolina play Saturday evening at the Wheeler Center in Belmont, N.C.
The Bobcats (4-8, 1-2 CC) dropped their third consecutive game despite scoring more than 70 points for the first time since Nov. 30. The Crusaders (8-5, 2-1) used strong play from the duo of McKenzie Owen and Morgan Midkiff while grabbing a victory for the third time in four games.
LMC jumped out to an early 12-5 lead thanks to consecutive three's from Lewis and Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.). Belmont responded with a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 19-14 lead with 10:44 remaining in the opening period.
A layup from Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) knotted the battle at 29. Both teams played evenly until the half, but a three from Midkiff gave the Crusaders a 38-33 advantage going into the intermission.
Both teams knocked down four three-pointers in the first 20 minutes while LMC shot 38.9% from the field.
Belmont Abbey was able to push its lead to eight after Midkiff knocked down a pair of free-throws at the 11:58 mark, but Lewis responded with a three-point play to keep the game within striking distance.
Following a Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) layup and-one, the Crusaders ripped off a 7-0 run in the next 67 seconds to make it a 10-point game, 69-59.
The Crusaders defense clamped down and allowed only one field in the final 4:01 to claim the victory.
Belcher earned her third double-double of the season with a 16-point, 13-rebound performance while Munson nearly missed one while she finished with 12 points and nine boards.
The Bobcats held a 50-41 advantage on the glass, but the Crusaders were able to knock down nine more free-throws (15-6).
LMC looks to bounce back when it welcomes Erskine to Williams Gymnasium Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in a conference battle.