Cobras Top Tornado After Late Rally Falls Short
King (1-13, 1-5) struggled scoring in the first half behind a 19.2 percent shooting percentage, leading to a 17-point shortfall at halftime. Coker's defense stifled the Lady Tornado, allowing them only nine points through the first 11 minutes of the game. After a 23-9 run to start the half, King slowed the Cobras down after they finished the half having scored only nine more points.
Trailing 32-15 coming out of the locker room, King opened the half on a 10-6 run before Coker stepped it up once again to build their lead to 19 at the 14-minute mark. Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va.), Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) and Brittany Kinser (Greeneville, Tenn.) combined to score the next seven points to bring King within 12 and continued battling to trim the lead to nine after Jana Gross (Dayton, Ohio) hit one of the team's four three pointers. Despite the rally to cut the lead to single digits, Coker finished the game on a 13-2 run spurred by the Cobras Ali Clemens and Amber Lau's consecutive three-point makes.
The offense ran through Brittany Kinser who led the Lady Tornado with 11 points off the bench. She took a team-high 15 shots, sinking five, in 23 minutes played. Eight of her 15 shots were from three-point range, though she struggled from that distance going 1-for-8 in her attempts.
The Lady Tornado improved their shooting percentage from short and long range by more than 30 percent from the first to the second half. They hit 40 percent of their field goals in the second half, a 30.8 percent improvement, while they went 4-for-12 (.333) from deep in the second after not hitting any of their five three-point attempts in the opening frame.
The first half bore 10 King turnovers that translated into 16 Coker points. The Lady Tornado controlled the ball more efficiently in the second half, only turning the ball over six times in the final 20 minutes. King forced 15 Coker turnovers, resulting in 16 points.
The Cobras were led by guard Jasmine Alston's 14 points while forward Jessica Cohen notched a double-double effort with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
King will return to the court to take on Lees-McRae on Monday, Jan. 16, at the Student Center Complex to open a Tornado basketball double header at 5:30 p.m. Fans in attendance will receive a free red "Tornado Warning" rally towel to welcome them back to campus after the winter break.