MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Pfeiffer University received a pair of 18-point performances by Jamila Harris (Danville, VA) and Charlotte Fuller (Moorestown, NJ) as the Lady Falcons stayed unbeaten in Conference Carolinas play with an 80-72 victory over Belmont Abbey in women’s basketball action Saturday night inside the Merner Gym. The win pushes Pfeiffer’s overall record to 4-5 on the year, now 4-0 in league play. The Crusaders dip their record to 4-6, 2-3.
Belmont Abbey senior Kelsey Daniel (Douglas, GA) led all scorers with a career-high 23 points on six of nine shooting from the field, to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. She also sank all 11 of her free throw attempts. Asha Hardaway (Greensboro, NC) added 12 points and five rebounds, while Shayla Jackson (Knoxville, TN) contributed 11 points on five of seven shooting from the field. Domonique China (Durham, NC) and Brittany Cox (Winston-Salem, NC) also reached double-figures adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Lady Falcons never trailed from the opening tip as the Abbey would cut the lead to one on four separate occasions, but never gained the lead. After a Hardaway layup trimmed the Pfeiffer advantage to 12-11, the Lady Falcons responded with a 19-6 run over the next seven minutes to extend the lead to 13 at 30-17 with 7:49 remaining. Belmont Abbey countered with a 9-2 run to break the lead back down to six at 32-26 with 4:23 left, but Pfeiffer responded once again, closing the half on a 9-3 run over the final 3:58 to take a 41-29 lead into the half.
Pfeiffer's advantage stayed in double figures for most of the second half, but the Abbey attempted to mount a charge. Trailing 63-53 with 8:38 left, the Crusaders went on a 7-2 jaunt in just 38 seconds, fueled by layups from Jackson and Hardaway, along with a traditional three-point play from Daniel, trimming the lead to five with eight minutes to go. China pushed Pfeiffer's lead back to eight with a three-pointer, but Daniel's ensuing layup made it a six-point game with 7:28 left.
China hit back-to-back threes to pad the cushion to 11 points, and free throws from Hardaway and Jackson cut it back to nine. After a Cox jumper moved the lead back to 11, the Abbey scored the next eight points to pull within three points, 73-70 with 2:02 left. Of the eight points, which was started by a runner by Naquin, six came from Daniel, four from the free throw line, and the final two came on a layup, but the Abbey did not score again until there were 21 seconds left, as Pfeiffer scored six straight points after its lead was trimmed to three.
The Lady Falcons will take Sunday off before entertaining Coker on Monday night. The opening tip will take place at 5:30 p.m. inside the Merner Gym.