BELMONT, N.C. - The Emmanuel College men's basketball team suffered their first conference loss of the season to Belmont Abbey, 88-85 on Saturday night. This loss brings the Lions record to 18-7 overall, 11-1 conference.
The Lions started with possession and were the first to put points on the board. Freshman Kyler Ingram got the ball rolling with back to back layups followed by a dunk to put the Lions up 6-4. Sophomore Brandon Simpson would put up 14 points in the first half, helping the Lions hold onto the lead for nearly all of the opening 15 minutes. The teams would exchange leads for the remainder of the half, before some last minute free throws elevated the Crusaders to a 36-33 lead.
Upon returning from half-time, the Lions had a strong second half showing, shooting 48.6% from the floor. Senior Kendrick Colvin added another 26 points to the Lions 52 total for the half. The Lions did, however, struggle at the three-point line as they only made 4 of their 21 attempts for the night.
The Crusaders matched Emmanuel's 52 points, thanks to their 71.4% field goal percentage, helping them retain the lead for the remainder of the night.
The Lions found themselves within just one point of the Crusaders with 4 seconds left on the clock after Colvin sunk a three-pointer. The Lions were then forced to foul, to which Belmont Abbey's Abrom Desuan made both free throws. A final three-point attempt from Brandon Simpson to force the game into overtime came up short, affording the victory to Belmont Abbey, 88-85.
Colvin led the Lions with 32 points and 16 rebounds.
The Lions will face Belmont Abbey once more in the regular season on Tuesday, February 26th. Next up, the team will take on King University on Wednesday, February 6th at 7:30 pm in Bristol, Tennessee.
For more news on Emmanuel College Athletics, visit goeclions.com.