WILSON, N.C. – King dropped a 57-43 decision to the Barton Bulldogs on Thursday night in Wilson Gymnasium. The Bulldogs broke away from the Lady Tornado with an 18-4 run toward the end of the first half to create an unrecoverable gap that snapped King's three-game win streak.
The Bulldogs broke away and created a 14-point lead over the Lady Tornado after the team went 1-for-7 and committed four turnovers over an eight-minute span during the first half. With the score tied 10-10 after freshman Stephanie Brantley hit a game-tying layup, Barton's Shante Neal began an 18-4 run with a pair of made free throws followed by a made three ball by Briana Thomas. Neal scored the team's sixth and seventh consecutive points off of a King turnover taken the length of the court on a fast break, continuing the run.
With a 13-point lead in hand at the half, King chipped into the lead and trimmed their deficit to eight points by the 13-minute mark, 36-28. The Bulldogs rebuilt its lead to 14 points and held that advantage for much of the half. King's Chelsea Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn./ETSU) hit a three pointer to cut the lead to single digits, 49-41, with 1:21 remaining in the game but Barton connected on all eight of its ensuing free throw attempts to create enough distance it their 57-43 victory.
Barton (5-3, 4-0) held the advantage in rebounds, 53-37, leading to 16 second chance points for the Bulldogs. Shante Neal led all scorers with 18 points and 12 rebounds in her double-double performance. Her teammate Nyeshea Willie was the only other double-digit scorer with 15 points, eight coming from the free throw line.
Three Lady Tornado players took share in the team lead with eight points. Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky.) shared in that lead, also tallying a team-best seven rebounds. She went 4-for-9 from the field, 4-for-6 on her two-point shots for the day. She also recorded four blocks, all in the first half, three assists, and one steal.
Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va.) and Sara Mitchell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each had eight points. Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) led the team with five assists. King shot only 28.1 percent overall on the night.
King (5-3, 1-3) will return to the Student Center Complex this Saturday, Jan. 5, when they host Belmont Abbey College at 5:30 p.m.