CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The King University men's basketball team continued their tough nonconference schedule on the road a Johnson C. Smith University on Saturday night. The Golden Bulls grabbed control of the game from the tip and held off a second half King rally en route to the 79-69 win.
Johnson C. Smith (7-2) scored the first six points of the game, forcing King to take a timeout less than two minutes into the game. The Golden Bulls stretched their lead to as many as nine points in the first half before the Tornado (4-6) started to come back. Hunter LeVeau drilled a three-point basket and Shamarae Watts made a fastbreak layup to pull King within 22-19 with 8:19 left in the first stanza.
However, the Golden Bulls responded with five straight points to push their advantage back to eight points. Scottie Hendricks drilled one of his five triples in the game to cut the King deficit to three points with four minutes left, but the Golden Bulls extended the lead to nine points at halftime following three free throws by Lamarquis Letchaw with two seconds left.
The Golden Bulls opened the second half with a bucket before Logan Lyle connected from long range to spark a Tornado run. He then made two more triples before C.J. Good got in on the action with a triple of his own to give King a 42-41 lead just over three minutes into the second half. Johnson C. Smith's Antwan Wilkerson ended the 12-0 King run with a three-point basket of his own before LeVeau answered from long range to give the lead back to King.
However, the Golden Bulls answered with a layup to take the lead for good with just under 16 minutes remaining. That bucket also sparked a 9-0 run that gave the Golden Bulls a 53-45 advantage with under 14 minutes remaining. King cut the lead to five on the next possession as Hendricks made a triple, but the Golden Bulls quickly gained their largest lead of the game, 65-50 with 9:33 remaining.
The Tornado tried to come back, and got within eight points on three occasions the rest of the game, but they couldn't get any closer as Johnson C. Smith took the game 79-69.
King made 18 three-point baskets in the game, shooting 41.9 percent from the long range. King shot 40.4 percent from the field, and grabbed 24 rebounds to Johnson C. Smith's 39 boards. The Golden Bulls shot 61.5 percent from the field and outscore King 46-8 in the paint.
Hendricks and Lyle led King with 15 points apiece, both make five triples in the game while LeVeau chipped in with 14 points. LeVeau and Malcolm St. Louis each grabbed a team-high five rebounds while Michael Fortune dished out a career-high 11 assists.
King will be in action on Tuesday when they travel to UVa-Wise in an attempt avenge a loss earlier this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.