December 21, 2013

Balanced attack leads King to seventh straight win

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University women's basketball team closed out 2013 in style, winning their seventh straight contest on Saturday afternoon at the Student Center Complex. The Tornado squared off with Mars Hill University and took a decisive 75-53 victory from the Lions to cap 2013.

The teams went back-and-forth to start the contest as Bonnie Durrett and Stephanie Brantley connected on back-to-back triples to give King (8-2) an early 8-2 advantage. However, the Lions (2-7) answered with a 12-2 run to take a 14-10 lead nearly five minutes into the game. Ansley Ricker made a pair of three-point baskets and accounted for 10 points on the run for the Lions.

However, the Tornado didn't go away as Tia Keitt drilled a triple and Kelly Jackson gave the lead back to King at 15-14 with a layup. Brantley then followed a Lion jumper with another triple to give King an 18-16 lead. With King holding a 24-19 lead, Whitney Mitchell ignited the King offense with a layup. Alley Sprouse followed with a layup, and Keitt capped the 6-0 run with another layup.

Following a pair of Mars Hill free throws, Chelsea Bowling started another Tornado run with a layup. Mitchell then scored three straight layups, two of which on the fastbreak to give king a 38-21 advantage before Ricker made a jumper with two seconds left to make the halftime score 38-23.

King quickly extended the lead back to 19 following buckets by Keitt and Brantley to open the second half. Mars Hill got back within 12 points halfway through the second half, but Brittany Stringer scored a pair of baskets around a Durrett triple to stretch the lead back to 19 points. The King lead never got below 15 points the rest of the way as the Tornado took the game 75-53.

Brantley lead three King scorers in double figures with 14 points to go along with nine rebounds. Jackson followed with 13 points while Durrett posted a double-double, going for 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Mitchell chipped in with nine points while Keitt and Bowling added eight points apiece. King shot 49.2 percent from the floor, their second best output of the season while holding the Lions to a 32.8 field goal percentage.

Ricker was the only Lion to reach double figures as she poured in a game-high 29 points.

King will be in action again on January 4 when they travel to take on Conference Carolinas foe Pfeiffer University. Tipoff from Misenheimer, N.C. is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.