HARTVILLE, S.C. – King put four players in double digits scoring, led by Jason Seymore's 14 points, in Saturday evening's conference game at Coker College.
King (13-4, 8-3) held a lead over the Cobras for nearly the whole first half, losing the advantage with just five seconds left when Teon Beckett hit a three pointer to give Coker a 32-31 lead. King's biggest lead came 4:41 into the game when guards Michael Fortune (Beckley, W.Va.) and Jordan Steele (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit threes in consecutive possessions as part of a 10-2 run out of the gate. The Tornado flirted with a six-point lead that lasted until the final two minutes of the half. The Cobras finished the frame scoring seven of the eight points with Beckett's three with five seconds remaining closing out the frame and giving the hosts their first lead of the game, 32-31.
Coker's run had not concluded until their lead had reached seven points, 44-37, nearly six minutes into the second half. Andrew Morris scored the first point of the second half with a three following a big offensive rebound by Sharod Williams. A second offensive rebound later in the frame led to another three by Bryce Arnott as part of a 19-6 Coker run that spanned 7:16 over both halves.
The second half featured both teams posting near-identical numbers, offensively. King made one more field goal in the second half (13) than the hosts while both teams hit six threes. As well as King had shot in the second half (.500), the major difference came in free throw attempts and makes. The Tornado committed 17 fouls in the second half, leading to the Cobras being sent to the free throw lines 22 times. Coker went 17-for-22 from the charity stripe, outscoring King from the line 17-7. Bryce Arnott went 11-for-14 alone from the free throw line, scoring 14 points in the latter frame.
With free throw shooting serving as the largest factor in their second-half breakaway, Coker defeated King 79-70, Saturday evening. Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) led King with 14 points while adding only two rebounds. He was one of four players in double figures scoring, joined by Michael Fortune (11), Logan Lyle (10), and Drew Standifer (10).
Standifer, a freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., shot 4-for-5 in a reserve role while adding four rebounds. Fellow freshman Malcolm St. Louis (Lebanon, Tenn.) was one point away from joining them in double-figure scoring (9) and led the team with seven rebounds.
King shot 48 percent from the field as a team in the loss, bested slightly by Coker's 50 percent from the field. The Cobras also outshot the Tornado from beyond the arc, hitting 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) of their long-range shots. Coker was led by Bryce Arnott's 16 points, 14 coming in the second half. He was one of four Coker players with 10 or more points, including Andrew Morris (13), Teon Beckett (13), and Errick Bethel (11).
King will play its second straight road game in Tigerville, S.C. at North Greenville University on Jan. 30. The Tornado and Crusaders will tip off at 7:30 p.m.