Belmont, N.C. - The Belmont Abbey men's basketball team shot 50 percent from the floor as three Crusaders reached double figures in an 89-80 win over Coker this evening in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 Conference Carolinas Tournament. The Abbey improves to 20-8, while Coker ends its season with a 15-14 mark. The Abbey's 20 wins are the most in a season since 2002-03, when it finished 24-7 and won the Conference Carolinas Tournament at Pfeiffer. The win gives the Abbey a season sweep (3-0) of the Cobras this year.
The Abbey led from the start as it never trailed and built its lead to as high as 24 points at 61-37. Junior forward Alex Pledger led the Crusaders with 18 points on seven of ten shooting, with six rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal in 17 minutes. Senior guard Jonathan Jackson added 17 points on six of ten shooting, while Chad Patus posted a double double with 15 points, ten rebounds and five assists. Deonte Murphy posted four assists. Belmont Abbey shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field and went to the free throw line 40 times, converting 32 (80 percent).
Coker shot 43.5 percent (30-69) as Josh Poston led all scorers with 29 points, while Stevie Evans added 19 and Vatrick Thompson contributed with 11.
With the win, the Abbey advances to the semifinal round, where it will host the seventh seeded Erskine Flying Fleet, which upset second seeded Mount Olive 54-52 on its home court, Thursday night at 7:00 at the Wheeler Center.