Pfeiffer ends King's winning streak

MISENHEIMER, N.C. – 2014 didn't quite start as the King University women's basketball team envisioned it, as they traveled to take on Conference Carolinas foe Pfeiffer University. The Tornado held an early lead, but the Falcons used a run late in the first half to take the lead before holding off a second half rally to hand King their first loss since November, 67-62.

Five minutes into the contest, King held an 8-4 lead over Pfeiffer (2-9, 1-2 CC) following layups from Alley Sprouse and Sydney Harris. However, the Falcons nailed back-to-back three-point baskets to take a 10-8 lead before Caressa Samuel capped the 8-0 run with a layup.

Chelsea Bowling answered Samuel's layup with a triple to pull King (8-3, 2-1 CC) within one, and after a Falcon bucket, Stephanie Brantley evened the score at 14 with her first of three triples in the game. Brantley tickled the twine from long range again with more than seven minutes remaining to even the score 17 before the Falcons went on a run.

Pfeiffer connected on three consecutive attempts from long range to gain a 26-17 lead with just under six minutes to go in the first half. Jalan Harper pulled King back within five with more than three minutes left in the half, but the Falcons entered halftime with a 36-26 advantage.

The Tornado shot 44.0 percent from the field in the first half, but the Falcons forced 15 Tornado turnovers. On the other hand, Pfeiffer shot 38.9 percent from the floor, and made seven three-point baskets, en route to the first half lead.

The Tornado chipped away at their deficit in the second half, and used a 7-0 run to get it back to just three points with 13:33 remaining. Sprouse started the spurt with an old fashioned three-point play, and Whitney Mitchell made a free throw before Durrett connected on a triple to make the score 41-38. However, the Falcons stretched their lead back to six with a three-point basket of their own.

Tia Keitt pulled King within 44-42 with her only three-point basket of the game with just under 11 minutes remaining. King got back within one possession on two more occasions, the first coming at 47-44 following a Sprouse layup, and Brantley made the score 49-47 with 7:59 left on her third triple of the game.

However, Carter Williams answered with a three-point basket on the Falcons' next possession to start an 8-0 run. Pfeiffer held the lead from that point on as King could not get closer than four points over the final five minutes, and the Falcons took the game 67-62.

The Tornado shot 27.5 percent in the second half, and 33.8 percent for the game while making 31.0 percent of their three-point attempts. Pfeiffer shot 31.1 percent from the floor and 32.1 percent from three-point range, but they went 20-for-25 from the free throw line, or 80.0 percent.

The loss also snaps King's seven-game winning streak which dated back to November 21 when they fell to Virginia Intermont College. It was also their first road loss of the season as King won their first five road games.

Durrett led King with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double. Keitt followed with 12 points while Brantley chipped in with nine points.

The Tornado will be in action again on Wednesday when they travel to University of Mount Olive. Tipoff from Mount Olive, N.C., is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.