MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill women's basketball team (1-3) fell by a score of 70-60 inside Stanford Arena to Belmont Abbey (3-3) Wednesday evening. Tatum Boggs led all players with 26 points.
Boggs scored the first two points of the game with 22 seconds elapsed. With 6:46 remaining in the first period, Belmont Abbey held a 5-4 lead and would go on to outscore the Lions 10-2 for the remainder of the frame. Mars Hill opened the second period on a 7-0 run to pull within two, but the Crusaders answered with a 7-0 run themselves to regain the nine point lead. The Crusaders would hold a double-digit lead for a majority of the second period and enter the half with a 12 point edge over Mars Hill.
Maria Kuhlman led Belmont Abbey with 17 points in the half, shooting 7-of-10 from the field, including three three-pointers. She, along with Manuela Fungate, also collected seven rebounds. Boggs led the Lions with seven points after 20 minutes. Alexis Pardue and Selby Baughman each had four rebounds.
The second half saw the Lions outscore Belmont Abbey by a score of 42-40. Once again, Mars Hill jumped out of the gates, and scored the first five points of the half to pull within four. A three-pointer by Allie Downing put a hold to the oncoming Lions but only momentarily. The Lions responded with four straight points to bring the game within three, the narrowest margin Mars Hill would see for the remainder of the game. The Crusaders would continue to build their lead throughout the period, but a resilient Lions' squad continued to claw at the lead. With 1:05 left in the period, Boggs drained a three-pointer and was fouled in the process. She hit the free throw to convert the four-point play to pull the Lions within four. Belmont Abbey, however, scored the final seven points of the period.
Carrying their 7-0 run into the fourth, Belmont Abbey would score the first three point of the final frame and have their 10-0 run snapped by a Brooke Vilcinskas three-pointer. Leading by as many as 15 points, the Crusaders allowed Mars Hill to scored eight unanswered to once again pull within four points. The Lions' run was cut short and the Crusaders would close out the contest with a 10 point advantage.
Kuhlman led the Crusaders' offense with 25 points and added nine rebounds. Downing ended the contest with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double.
Boggs scored a season-high 26 points for Mars Hill that included six three-pointers. Mariah Johnson added 13 points while Fajhenee Bradford had a game-high eight assists. Pardue collected a game-high 11 rebounds.
Mars Hill opens South Atlantic Conference play on Saturday, December 1st when they take on Newberry on the road. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.