WILBERFORCE, Ohio - The King College men's basketball team suffered a narrow 86-82 defeat at Central State (Ohio) University Saturday.
Clarence Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) paced King with 18 points while Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) and Mark Dockery (Nickelsville, Va.) both poured in 17. Seymore also pulled in a team-best eight rebounds. Brian Hewitt (Lexington, Ky.) dished out three assists to go with 11 points and Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Fla.) scored 10 points from the bench.
The Tornado moved to 10-12 on the season as a three-game winning streak was snapped. The close defeat was not the first of the season for King as the team went to 0-6 in games decided by five points or less and five have been away from Bristol. Central State has an 11-8 record after the contest.
King used a three by Dockery in the final moments to tie the game at 80. Central State answered with a three pointer by Greg Rice and two free throws tacked onto the lead. Hewitt got the visitors within two with a long-range basket, but that was as close as King would be in the final seconds.
The Tornado rallied from a 77-70 deficit to tie things at 80, the ninth time the game was tied.
King was able to enjoy a 69-67 lead after Smith sunk two free throws, but Gerald Campbell laid in two points on Central State's next possession to tie things again. The lead after Smith's free throws was the last time King was in front.
In all the game featured seven ties and six lead changes.
A tip in by Chris Montgomery gave Central State a 38-36 lead at halftime.
King finished 29-for-71 (40.8 percent) overall, but was just 8-for-30 (26.7 percent) from behind the arc. Dockery had half the made three pointers. At the free throw line the Tornado went 16-for-18 for a season best 88.9 percent at the line.
Central State was 31-for-61 (50.8 percent) for the game and 9-for-20 (45.0 percent) from long distance. The home team was 15-for-21 (71.4 percent) at the line.
Central State did pull in 10 more rebounds than King, 40-30. King saw Central State used 13 offensive rebounds for 15 second-chance points, but could only score three on a dozen offensive rebounds.
King did score 20 points off 17 turnovers.
Rice ended up leading all scorers with 27 points. Wesley Jones accounted for 22 points while Campbell had 14 points off the bench.
After Saturday's contest Smith moved to No. 17 on King's all-time scoring list with 1,297 points and he moved ahead of current assistant coach Nick Pasqua. Dockery also used his 17 points to become the fifth player in program history with 1,600 or more career points. He needs 14 points to move to No. 3 on the program's scoring list.
King will play at Hiwassee (Tenn.) College Tuesday with a 6 p.m. scheduled start.