MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Belmont Abbey senior Richard Barbee (Virginia Beach, VA) scored five of his 24 points in the final 26 seconds, including the game-winning jumper with two ticks left, as the Crusaders erased a late 13-point second half deficit to claim a 90-89 win over Pfeiffer University in Conference Carolinas men’s basketball action on Saturday night. Belmont Abbey improves to 12-10 overall, 7-7 in league play while the Falcons, who saw a three at the buzzer from Chris Woods (Thomasville, NC) hit the front and back rim before falling to the ground, drop to 9-12, 7-6.
A three-point basket by the Falcons’ Kyler Gregory (Gibsonville, NC) gave the hosts an 82-69 lead with 6:09 remaining. Trailing by 11 with 4:50 to play, the Crusaders ran out on a 7-0 run with a pair of jumpers from Barbee to slice the Pfeiffer lead down to 85-81 with 2:27 left on the clock.
After a pair of free throws from Woods pushed the Falcon lead back to four with just under two minutes left, Barbee and Kyle Phillips (Lexington, SC) trimmed the contest to two, 87-85, on two more baskets with 70 seconds remaining. Down to 26 seconds left, Barbee pulled up and knocked down a three to give the Crusaders an 88-87 lead. Davon Gilliard (Charleston, SC) would hit a pair of free throws with 17 seconds remaining to put Pfeiffer back up one, until Barbee hit his jumper with a foot on the three point line to give Belmont Abbey the 90-89 win.
Both teams saw 17 lead changes in the first half as Phillips banked a jumper off the glass at the buzzer to give the Crusaders a 38-37 lead at the break. Belmont Abbey’s largest lead in the first half was a half-dozen four minutes in while the Falcons largest lead happened with 3:40 remaining as Jeff Pettiway (Edgewood, MD) drained a long distance three for a five-point, 35-30 Falcon advantage.
Barbee and Woods each came up with the game high of 24 points as both sides put several players in double figures. On the visitors side, Phillips chipped in with 21 while Tyshawn Good (Jamaica, NY) contributed with 15. For Pfeiffer, Josh Humphrey (Matthews, NC) connected for 18, Gregory finished with 12 while Pettiway concluded with 10.
As a team, the Crusaders shot 55.7% from the floor in the win. A 16-4 Abbey run in the final 4:43 sparked the comeback as 16 of Barbee's 24 came over the final 8:06. Pfeiffer struggled on the floor late as Humphrey connected on the Falcons final field goal at 4:50 mark of the second half.
Pfeiffer will have one day to get ready for another league battle on Monday night hosting St. Andrews at 7:30 p.m. The Knights scored a 136-126 overtime win against the Falcons back on January 18th in Laurinburg.