Central, SC – Southern Wesleyan fell in a 67-59 against the Belmont Abbey Crusaders on Saturday afternoon.
Jessica Sparks led the Warriors in the 67-59 loss, scoring 23 points. Sparks went 8-16 in the field and 6-12 in three point shots. She was followed by Breanna Richardson and Tatiyana Mahone with eight points each. The Warriors had 45 rebounds in the loss with Kasey Howard leading the team with eight. Howard was followed by Sparks, Mahone, and Noelle Van Zadelhoff each with seven rebounds. Howard went on to lead the team with six assists, followed by Richardson with three. Van Zadelhoff posted the lone block for the Warriors.
Final: Belmont Abbey 67, Southern Wesleyan 59
Records: Southern Wesleyan (5-11 / CC 4-6), Belmont Abbey (12-5 / CC 9-1)
Coach Davis says…
"Good overall effort today. We had a good third quarter offensively. We made the extra pass and stretched them out, which led to an effective offense. We went away from that in the fourth quarter. Davisson and Spivey I felt sparked Belmont Abbey and their team followed after that. A few plays go our way and it is a different outcome. We played well enough defensively to get the win."
How It Happened
Southern Wesleyan jumped out early with a three point jump shot by Jessica Sparks to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead. Belmont Abbey countered with a three point shot by Maria Kuhlman to tie it up. The Crusaders pushed ahead with shots by Briana Grier and Allie Downing to allow them to take a 7-3 advantage over the Warriors. A three point shot by Sparks put the Warriors one behind the Crusaders, and then a second shot by Sparks gave Southern Wesleyan an 8-7 lead. Back-to-back shots by Tatiyana Mahone allowed the Warriors to push their lead to 12-9. Three point shots by Sparks and Denisha Hall allowed Southern Wesleyan to take an 18-11 point lead at the end of the first quarter of play.
Belmont Abbey jumped out first in the second quarter with shots by Emry Tsitouris and Allie Downing to come to 16-18 behind Southern Wesleyan. The Warriors countered on a three point shot by Denisha Hall to take a five point lead over the Crusaders. A layup by Tatiyana Mahone with just over nine minutes left in the first half put the Warriors up 23-16. A three point jump shot by Jessica Sparks allowed the Warriors to push their lead to 26-22. However a layup by Taylor Gittings allowed the Crusaders to tie the game 26-26. The Crusaders took the lead, but the lead was short lived as Shawndre' Young sunk a three point shot to put the Warriors up 29-28. A layup by Maria Kuhlman gave the Crusaders a 30-29 lead at the half.
The Warriors started the second half strong with a layup by Noelle Van Zadelhoff to give them a 31-30 point lead over Belmont Abbey. They pushed their lead to 34-32 on a three point shot by Jessica Sparks, but the Crusaders countered on a three point shot by Maria Kuhlman to take a 35-34 point lead. Back-to-back three point shots by Breanna Richardson allowed Southern Wesleyan to regain control of the lead and make the score 40-37. A three point shot by Kasey Howard allowed the Warriors to push their lead to 44-40. They pushed their lead to six points on shots by Tiana Sherman and Breanna Richardson to give them a 48-42 lead.
Shots by Irelynn Davisson and Keyanna Spivey allowed the Crusaders to strike first in the fourth quarter and come to 47-48 behind the Warriors. A jump shot by Tatiyana Mahone allowed Southern Wesleyan to take their lead to 50-47. Belmont Abbey took the lead on a three point shot by Maria Kuhlman to make the score 51-50. Layups by Aneysa Williams and Noelle Van Zadelhoff put the Warriors down 54-55 to Belmont Abbey. The Crusaders pushed ahead, but a three point jump shot by Jessica Sparks kept the Warriors within one of Belmont Abbey and make the score 57-58. However, the Crusaders fought back to win the game 67-59.
Southern Wesleyan will next travel to Mount Olive on January 23 to take on the Trojans at 5:30 p.m. They will remain on the road on January 26 as they take on the Converse Valkyries at 5 p.m.