Offensive Drought Spurs Late Run in Loss to Belmont Abbey
BELMONT, N.C. – In a high-scoring and fast-paced game inside the Wheeler Center (Belmont, N.C.), both teams looked to be well on pace for more than 200 points of total offense. Though that prediction became reality, it was Belmont Abbey that pulled away with a 110-92 victory using a second-half, 21-3 run and 19 Tornado turnovers to separate itself from King.
King (15-6, 10-5 Conference Carolinas) took a 53-51 lead into the locker room after shooting better than 55 percent from the field and hitting 5-of-11 three-point shots. Belmont Abbey nearly matched King's shooting percentages but the Tornado shot 94.1 percent from the charity stripe (16-17) to help gain the two-point edge at half.
Both teams jostled for the lead through the first four minutes of the second half. Freshman Malcolm St. Louis' dunk gave King a temporary burst of energy and a 60-59 lead but Terrone Sheffey's three pointer helped Belmont Abbey regain the lead for the final time.
The Crusaders went on a 21-3 over the next 5:25, using pair of King turnovers and an offensive drought to take an 80-63 lead with 11:27 to go. During that run, the Tornado went 1-for-5 from field goal range and missed three free throw attempts. That lead was extended to as many as 25 points before Belmont Abbey hinged on breaking the 100-point barrier on the night.
Despite the breakaway by the Crusaders, King still shot north of 40 percent from the field in the second half but 10 turnovers produced 16 points. Over the course of the game, Belmont Abbey scored a total of 32 points off of King's 19 turnovers.
Tyshawn Good highlighted the contest with a game-high 43 points. The guard shot 66.6 percent from the field, nailing 14-of-21 total shots and 4-of-8 from behind the arc. He also tacked on 11 points from the free-throw line. He also led both sides with four steals and five assists. Good was two rebounds shy of a double-double.
Freshmen Drew Standifer (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Aaron Wheeler (Morristown, Tenn.) each hit five field goals and were perfect from the free-throw line to combined to 27 of King's 53 first-half points. Standifer went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line to lead the team with 14 first-half points off the bench. He led the team by finishing with 21 points. Wheeler scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half also off the bench. Both finished with new career highs in point totals.
King will continue its stint on the road against conference rival Lees-McRae College on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Tipoff for the game is set for 7:30 p.m. The meeting continues the inaugural Battle for the Blue Ridge Cup, a competition between the two schools that currently favors King by a 7-2 margin. When the two teams played in the Student Center Complex on Jan. 21, both King teams defeated the Bobcats with the Tornado men's team dismantling LMC, 72-48.