Belmont, N.C.—A second half comeback fell just short for North Greenville in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament as the Crusaders of Belmont Abbey ended NGU's season with a 82-79 win in North Carolina.
North Greenville struggled from the floor in the opening period, shooting just 41 percent from the floor. The Crusaders hit 15 of 36 shots and were just 2 of six from deep as Abbey took a 45-34 advantage into the locker room. NGU trailed by 15 with 1 minute left but consecutive buckets from Amber Martin cut the lead to just 11.
The Crusaders trailed by as man as 17 points during the second period, but back-to-back three pointers from Tyler Powers would cut the lead to just 12. Another three pointer from Alisha Hope would cut the lead to five with 5:34 left, but Abbey would regain a nine-point advantage down the stretch, leaving just 4:49 left on the clock.
North Greenville would answer with 7-1 run however to cut the lead back down to three points with 1:39 left in the game. Timisty Nelson would score four points during the quick stretch, while Emily Wampler would also hit a mid range jumper to cut the lead to 74-71.
NGU would have its chances in the final minute of play to pull the comeback, but a turnover with 10 seconds left would waste an NGU possession. The Crusaders from Belmont Abbey would connect on a pair of free throws to put the game away as Emily Wampler hit a three pointer to cut the lead to three with just two seconds left on the clock, which Abbey would run down to 0's.
Alisha Hope led North Greenville in her final game in red and black, scoring 22 points with six rebounds. Timisty Nelson finished with 15 points while Emily Wampler scored 15. NGU's offense improved a greatly in the second period, as the Crusaders shot 53 percent from the field, and 77.8 percent from three point range.
North Greenville finishes the season with a 12-17 overall record.