BELMONT, N.C. - Shayla Jackson registered a game-high 21 points as Belmont Abbey claimed a 62-54 victory over Pfeiffer University in Conference Carolinas women's basketball action on Saturday night at the Wheeler Center. The Crusaders drained half of their total shots on the night improving to 6-8 overall, 5-3 in league play. The Lady Falcons suffer the loss falling to 5-10, 4-5.
Jackson poured in six of the first 11 Crusader points on the night forcing a Pfeiffer timeout at the 14:03 mark with an 11-3 lead. A pair of free throws and jumper later from Kelsey Long put the hosts up 20-6 midway through the first half. A basketball by Pfeiffer's Shelley Reese trimmed the deficit back into the single digits at nine with seven minutes remaining, but an 11-3 run by Belmont Abbey with four points from Candace Fox closed out the half for a 31-16 Abbey lead at the break.
Belmont Abbey maintained a lengthy double-digit lead in the second half as Jackson gave them one of their largest leads of the night, 35-16, just 83 seconds into the final 20 minutes. Baskets by the Lady Falcons' Brittany Cox and Christina Harvey cut the lead back to 11 twice in 41 seconds, but a fast 8-3 run thanks to Paula Regalado and Jackson put the Crusaders back up 16 at the halfway point.
The final run came in a three and a half minute span as Belmont Abbey turned a 12-point lead into a 21-point lead on triples by Melisa Foures, Brittaney Rice and Fox. A last ditch effort by the Lady Falcons, sparked by a 10-0 run, fell short as time ran out. Sam Craven had five of those final ten points while Reese had four.
Behind Jackson's 21 and eight assists, Long was the only other Crusader to finish in double-figure scoring with a dozen points. For Pfeiffer, Celeste Caudill led the way with a team high 17 points followed by Craven's 10. The Lady Falcons out-scored the Crusaders 38-29 in the second half, but could rebound from a 16-point first half shooting just 27%.
Belmont Abbey returns to action on Monday night hosting Converse at 7:00 p.m. while Pfeiffer entertains Coker on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.