February 23, 2013

Piccinini's Clutch Free Throws Edge Coker, 73-72

Eddie Piccinini scored 22 points, including two free throws with 2.5 seconds left.  Jason Seymore added a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Bristol, Tenn.- One common thought going through everyone's head was, how will King respond to one of the worst losses of the season the last game out against Limestone College?  Today Coker College (12-12, 9-9 CC) traveled to Bristol, Tenn. to take on King University (18-7, 13-6 CC).  This game would factor into the final season standings for both teams and was bound to be a battle.

            The last meeting between the two teams was at Coker.  The outcome of that game favored Coker and fed to the road-losing streak that King has been struggling with.  The final score of that game came out to be 79-70 with Coker walking away victorious.  That game was heated, very heated, with three players in the game getting technical fouls in front of a rowdy crowd.  Tonight would be a test to see if King could keep their undefeated streak alive at home and also to see how King can respond to a rough loss earlier in the week at Limestone.

            As the game tipped off, everyone became nervous when Coker jumped out quickly going up 8-1 in 2:35 since tip off.  King continued to fight back until King tied the game 16-16 with 11:31 to go in the first half.  The game stayed close the rest of the first half.  With under a minute left it looked as if King was going to go into the locker room up by three, when all of a sudden Bryce Arnott (Melbourne, Australia) passes the ball to Errick Bethel (Irmo, S.C.) who nails a three to tie the game going into halftime. 

            The second half is where King has seemed to be struggling here resent.  As the second half started and progressed along, it was a very close game but seemed as if Coker had a slight advantage by always scoring first after a tie.  The entire second half was intense.  As the game was inching closer to the end, Coker was up by three points, 71-68, when Logan Lyle (Unicoi, Tenn.) came off a screen, caught the ball at the top of the key, and with his defender all over him shoots the ball as if no one was within 10 feet of him.  That amazing shot tied the game at 71 apiece and swung every bit of momentum that was left in King's favor.  This left 1:16 on the game clock.  Coker brought the ball down the court and used almost all of the shot clock when Eren Moses (New York, N.Y.) was fouled by Michael Fortune (Beckley, W.Va.).  Moses made the first free throw giving Coker a one-point lead and missed the second.  Down the floor went King and Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Florida) attacked and was fouled by Moses.  Piccinini stepped up and knocked down both clutch free throws to give King a 73-72 lead with 0:02 left in the game.  Coker's Moses misses as time expired and King walked away with an incredible one-point win.

            King was lead by Piccinini with 24-points. King had three other players in double digits, Lyle with 11-points, Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) with 19-points and 14 rebounds, and Aaron Wheeler (Morristown, Tenn.) with 11-points and two big blocks.  Coker was lead by Julian Nelson (Irmo, S.C.) with 17-points.  Two other had double digits for Coker, Moses with 11-points and Sharod Williams (Miami, Fla.) with 14-points and 10 rebounds.

            King responded very well coming off one of the worse losses of the season and won a very close game that was tight the whole night.  This extended King's home win streak to 11-straight games.  The next game will be Senior Night, Friday March 1, 2013 against North Greenville at the Student Center.  This is the last scheduled game on King's schedule.  This game will begin approximately 7:30 PM.  King will be trying to avenge a earlier loss, January 30, 2013, when they went down 63-55 at North Greenville.