WILSON, N.C. – The Barton women's basketball team (8-1, 1-1) suffered its first loss of the season, 79-74, Tuesday evening to Belmont Abbey (5-3, 2-0) in a Conference Carolinas game at Wilson Gymnasium.
The Crusaders, winners of three straight games, were led by Maria Kuhlman (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) with a game-high 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting while Manuela Fungate (Mount Kiscko, N.Y.) added 18 points – all in the second half – as Belmont Abbey rallied from a 33-28 halftime deficit to take the victory.
Barton was led by a pair of double-doubles courtesy of senior forward Kianna Wynn (Knightdale, N.C.) and senior guard Dinah Neal (Browns Summit, N.C.). Wynn finished with a team-high 26 points and 11 rebounds while Neal added 13 points and dished out 10 assists in the losing effort.
Trailing by a 68-66 score with 4:07 remaining in the contest, Kuhlman gave the Crusaders the lead for good with a three-point play. The trifecta was the first of seven straight points from the visitors and Belmont Abbey was able to hold on for the victory.
Barton freshman guard Akira Wiggins (Knightdale, N.C.) came off the bench to score 13 points including three treys but the Bulldogs hit just five-of-21 three-point attempts in the losing effort. Belmont Abbey held a 37-29 edge on the boards while Allie Downing (New Madison, Ohio) added 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the win.
Barton remains at home to take on Emmanuel (Ga.) in a Conference Carolinas contest on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., while Belmont Abbey hosts North Greenville in a league game Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m.