First-half surge lifts Abbey to 92-65 victory over Bobcats

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Belmont Abbey College men's basketball team outscored Lees-McRae College by a 54-24 margin in the first half en route to a 92-65 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday evening in Williams Gymnasium.

Belmont Abbey (19-7, 12-6 CC) shot 48.6 percent from the floor in the contest, including a 58.8 percent clip in the first half, while holding Lees-McRae (2-22, 2-16 CC) to a field goal percentage of 37.3 percent on the night. The Crusaders won the battle on the glass by a 53-36 margin, including an 18-10 advantage on the offensive boards, while scoring 29 points on the fast break.

DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) led the way for Lees-McRae with 13 points, knocking down a trio of three-pointers, as Charles Clarke (Orlando, Fla.) and Chad Eppley (Boone, N.C.) each added seven markers. Juan Urbina (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) chipped in seven boards and a game-high three blocks, as Eppley dished out a contest-best four assists.

Jay Council paced the Abbey with a game-high 24 points, all in the first half, on 9-of-13 shooting, as Tyshawn Good added 21 markers and three assists. Chris Davis chipped in 10 points with a 4-for-6 night from the floor, while he and Justin Kuhlman each dished out a game-high four assists. Kuhlman also posted a contest-best four steals for the Abbey.

Belmont Abbey opened the game with a 14-0 run before the Bobcats responded, cutting the lead to 17-12 on a lay-in by Asad Lamont (Mebane, N.C.) at the 11:54 mark. The Abbey would answer with a 19-10 spurt, pushing the advantage to 36-22 before closing the half with an 18-2 surge, taking a 54-24 lead into the intermission.

The Crusaders carried the momentum into the second half, stretching the margin to 68-35 on a lay-up by Terrone Sheffey with 13:19 to go. Belmont Abbey would close out the win from there, holding off a late Bobcat run en route to a 92-65 victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Bobcats travel to Tigerville, S.C. for a league battle with North Greenville University at 7:30 p.m.

- LMC -