BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – A down shooting night for the King Tornado led the team to a bitter 81-49 to NAIA No. 2 Mountain State on Friday night. Eddie Piccinini led all King scorers with nine points in the loss.
King (4-2) shot 28 percent from the field on the night and fell further behind in the second half going 7-for-33 from the floor in the final 20 minutes. Trailing 41-27 coming out of the locker room, King went 3-for-17 from behind the arc in an attempt to make up the difference, but a below average shooting night kept the Tornado away from victory. Combined, King shot 18 percent from distance while Mountain State hit 45.9 percent of its shots, 30 percent from behind the arc.
Piccinini, a junior from Orlando, Fla., lead King with nine points and four assists in the loss. Brian Hewitt (Lexington, Ky.) and Brandon Crompton (Hurricane, W.Va.) contributed seven points each as the next leading scorers. Crompton led the Tornado in boards, pulling down seven on the night before fouling out. Of the 16 players that hit the hardwood, 12 found the scoring column of the stat sheet.
The Tornado will return to the court to play in second-day action at the Commerce Classic. King will play host school Bluefield State University at 8:00 p.m. to conclude the holiday weekend slate of games.