BRISTOL, Tenn. – King University and Barton College both struggled shooting over the course of the night. Combined with 22 turnovers, King dropped its fourth straight contest to the Bulldogs, 54-43. Tia Keitt had a surge in the second half to lead to Lady Tornado with 11 points. Freshman Stephanie Brantley scored more than 10 points for the fifth time this season.
Of Barton's 27 points in the first half, 15 came off of King's 17 turnovers in the opening frame. Their first six points came off of steals by Nyeshea Willie and Elaine Morgan and were part of a 24-8 run than spanned over the first 15 minutes of the game. King's offense struggled throughout the entire first half, hitting only 4-of-20 shots from the field (.200). Barton faced the same struggles down the stretch despite having 17 more shots than the Lady Tornado. The Bulldogs shot only 27 percent from the field in the first half, limiting them to only 27 points.
King (9-9, 5-9) played an improved second half by limiting their turnovers and improving their shooting percentage by nearly 10 percent. Tia Keitt (Dallas, Ga.) came off the bench to score eight points on 3-of-5 shooting by penetrating the lane and beating the Barton defenders to the basket with her quickness. Matching Keitt in second-half scoring was guard Stephanie Brantley (Pilot Mountain, N.C.). The freshman hit the game's only three-point bucket as part of her eight points in the second half. Despite outscoring Barton in the second half, 29-27, it was not enough to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit.
Both teams struggled shooting all night long as the two teams combined for a 26.7 field goal shooting percentage and 1-for-10 from beyond the arc.
Keitt finished as the Lady Tornado's leading scorer, putting in a season-high 11 points in 23 minutes played off of the bench. She fell two points shy of her current career high of 13 points recorded last year at home against Mars Hill (Dec. 6).
Sophomore Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky.) led both sides with 12 rebounds. Nine of those came in the second half and of those, seven were on the offensive end. Stephanie Brantley scored 10 points, marking the second time in three games she has had 10 or more points in a game and the fifth time this season.
The Lady Tornado will host Erskine College on Feb. 6 as part of the Solid Blue celebration going on during Wednesday's basketball doubleheader. Tipoff for the women's basketball game is set for 5:30 p.m.