January 30, 2013

Crusaders Overcome Lady Tornado

Brooke Johnson led the King women's basketball team with 15 points in their 84-67 loss to North Greenville University.

TIGERVILLE, S.C. – North Greenville University hosted the King University Lady Tornado and delivered the guests an 84-67 loss inside Hayes Gymnasium, Wednesday night. Brooke Johnson led King with 15 points while Alley Sprouse continued to assert her defensive dominance with four blocks. The loss drops the Lady Tornado to 9-8 overall, 5-8 in conference play.

The Crusaders shot better than 40 percent from all three areas of the floor in both the first and second halves, leading to their 17-point victory. North Greenville was paced by Alisha Hope who led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor. She was one of three NGU players with 10 or more points on the night.

After keeping pace with the Crusaders and jostling for the lead over the first nine minutes of the first half, the Lady Tornado hit one of their next 10 shots while NGU pulled away with a 24-4 run. They accumulated a 19-point lead, their largest of the half, and held on to that margin going into halftime, 42-23.

King continued to struggle offensively, missing shots on their first three possessions and recording its only points through the first 3:25 via free throws. North Greenville built its lead to a game-high 26 points before King slowly began to chip away at their lead. Behind a pair of Chelsea Bowling three pointers and strong free throw shooting, the Lady Tornado sliced the lead to 10 points with 6:34 to go in the game to keep within reach.

NGU's Alisha Hope hit a pair of threes inside of a 15-5 run to help bolster their lead to 20 points with three minutes remaining. King was unable to overcome their second 20-point deficit of the game, leading to an 84-67 final score.

The Crusaders made the most of 19 Lady Tornado turnovers, turning in 31 points off of those turnovers. Thirteen of King 19 turnovers were caused by steals. Hope led NGU with four steals.

Sophomore Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.) came into the game leading Conference Carolinas with 38 blocks and added four more to her resume at Hayes Gymnasium. She now has a commanding lead in that category within the conference and remains in the top-10 in NCAA Division II in blocks per game.

Brooke Johnson (Mountain City, Tenn.) led the Lady Tornado with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, adding five rebounds and a block. Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky.) paced the team with eight rebounds. Chelsea Bowling returned to the lineup after missing five games and put up nine points off of the bench in 12 minutes.

King (9-8, 5-8 Conference Carolinas) will play the first of two home games on Saturday, Feb. 2 when they host Barton College at 5:30 p.m. inside the Student Center Complex. They will follow by hosting Erskine College as part of the Solid Blue celebration on campus.