King Hosts LMU in Opener of Saturday Doubleheader

King Hosts LMU in Opener of Saturday Doubleheader

King Tornado 
(0-7, 0-1 Conference Carolinas)


Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters
(4-4, 1-1 SAC)

Game notes
Live video

Game 8  |  Dec. 10, 2011
Student Center Complex  |  Bristol, Tenn.


Defensively the Tornado played one of their best games of the young season under first-year head coach Josh Thompson and his new trap system, limiting the Lions to 68 points. Their 68 points allowed was the second-fewest points allowed this season (67, Central State). Tia Keitt led the Tornado with 13 points (5-of-8), hitting a pair of threes and generating three steals. Guards Jana Gross, Kelly Jackson and Brooke Johnson combined to shoot 3-for-21 from the field while the team shot 32.8 percent and were outscored 30-18 in the paint by the Lions.

The Tornado have one last non-conference game, a rematch against Mars Hill (Dec. 19), before they begin the heart of their Conference Carolinas schedule. They will begin on the road against North Greenville (Jan. 3) after the turn of the New Year and then host Converse (Jan. 5) and Mount Olive (Jan. 7). Those three league teams combine for a 10-8, highlighted by NGU who stand atop the conference at 6-1 overall, 1-0 in league play.

King has struggled finding an offensive rhythm early this season but came out of the gate shooting lights out against Lincoln Memorial in an 82-69 loss. The Tornado shot 41.9 percent from the field and hit 15 threes on 25 attempts (.600) in that game. Since then, the team's shooting percentage has leveled off as the team has not reached 35 percent in the last two games. King has seen five different high scorers in its six games. The Tornado averaged 61.0 ppg while allowing a shade under 80.0 ppg to their opponents.

Captain Kalen Collins has turned it up in the post for the Tornado, scoring in double digits in two of her last four games. She has averaged 10.0 ppg from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 and has posted 21 rebounds (7.0 rpg) over that time. She registered 12 points against Limestone (11/29) and Cedarville University (12/3).

Freshman Alley Sprouse has made a splash in the scoring column for the Tornado early, posting three 10+ point games in five thus far. She hit the 10-point plateau in three straight games from 11/16 to 11/29, falling just one rebound shy of her first career double-double against Limestone (11/29). Sprouse has managed five or more rebounds in five of the team's six games so far this season. She was held out of the Tornado's game against Mars Hill (Dec. 6) due to injury.

Lincoln Memorial began their season with an 82-69 win over the Tornado and since have gone 3-4. Now standing 4-4 overall, they have lost three of their last four games. Two of those three losses were by double digits, each in games where Dayshalee Salaman did not lead the team in scoring. In their third loss, Salaman was back on point but the Railsplitters lost only by four points, 79-75 at Catawba. All three losses were away from their home court while their win over Wingate (82-73) was on their home floor. Salaman has led the team in scoring in five out of their eight games, averaging 20.1 ppg so far this season.

Standing at 6-5, Lauren Cochran burned the Tornado for 23 points and five boards in their first meeting and serves as the Railsplitters largest defensive presence in the paint while averaging 15.0 ppg. Surprisingly, she does not lead the team in rebounding. MaRanda Boddie averages 10.0 rpg but averages 5.5 ppg. Amberly O'Dell in the third and final LMU player averaging double-digit scoring with 14.0 ppg. Away from Harrogate, Tenn., LMU is a combined 1-4 while 3-0 at home.

Before the beginning of the season the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll was released with King ranking eighth in the 12-team league. The Tornado tied for the eight spot with North Greenville receiving 46 points each in the poll. In the West Division, King stacks up tied for fourth, again with North Greenville. Barton (East) and Limestone (West) rank at the top of each division and are ranked first and second, respectively.

The Tornado introduced a new head coach on July 15 when Josh Thompson was named head coach of the women's basketball team. Thompson spent nine years at Nyack College (Nyack, N.Y.) where he turned around the Warriors program that had never reached the 20-win plateau before his arrival. From 2002-10, Thompson was the head coach and led the Warriors from NAIA to NCAA Division II status, such as the path the Tornado just completed. In 2009, Nyack claimed the NCCAA East Region Championship while Thompson earned Region Coach of the Year honors. In his final season at Nyack, he helped the Warriors to a 21-win season and clinched the program's first-ever NCAA National Tournament appearance. 

King College will introduce live video with commentary on select games via the online home of King College Athletice - -- Video will be guaranteed for all home games and be offered FREE of charge through the Conference Carolinas video partner, America One Broadcasting. Video for away games will be dependant on the opponent. Click here for the direct link.

 The preferred hotel of King College 
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