BELMONT, NC (January 13, 2007) – Belmont Abbey shot 48.9 percent (23-47) from the floor as four players reached double figures, led by forward James Prince’s 14 points, as the Crusaders defeated Coker 64-55 this afternoon at the Wheeler Center. The Abbey improves to 4-8 overall and 3-4 in the CVAC, while the Cobras fall to 3-9 overall and 0-6 in the CVAC.


Prince sank seven of his 11 field goal attempts and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to go along with a blocked shot and a steal. Senior guard Brooks Beard added 11 points, and guard Deonte Murphy added 10 points on three-of-four shooting from the field, while handing out two assists. Forward Ric Marczenko added eight points as he sank all four of his field goal attempts, and recorded seven rebounds in just 12 minutes of action.


The Abbey, which never trailed after being down 4-3 with just 1:33 gone by, erased the Cobras lead for good as it went on a 13-2 run, fueled by three Marczenko layups, a pair from Prince and a three-pointer by guard Jonathan Jackson, as it opened up a 16-6 lead with 10:57 left. Coker would go on a mini-run to trim the lead to six at 18-12, but the Crusaders would close the half on a 12-8 run to hold a 30-20 lead at the half.


Belmont Abbey scored the first three points of the second half to stretch its lead to 13 points, but Coker would go on a 9-3 run to cut the lead to five at 36-31 with 15:12 left, but the Crusaders answered in kind, going on a 10-1 run to up the lead to 14 at 47-33 with 9:00 left.


From there, Coker  could not get any closer than ten points until there were 53 seconds left when it closed within nine at 61-52, but Murphy sank two free throws, and after a Coker three-pointer cut the lead to eight, Karl Bauza scored the final point of the contest on a free throw to provide the final score, 64-55.

The Abbey dominated the glass, out rebounding Coker 36-27, and forced 20 Cobra turnovers as senior forward Anthony Bell led the Crusaders with three steals.


Belmont Abbey is back in action Monday night at 7:30 when it goes on the road to face Mount Olive.