Hot-shooting Trojans down Tornado
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Unable to overcome the University of Mount Olive's hot start, the King University women's basketball team fell 78-53 in a conference matchup that dropped the Tornado to fifth place in the Conference Carolinas standings.
The visiting Trojans (14-7, 9-4 Conference Carolinas) scored on 12 of their first 16 possessions to open up a 17-point lead before the 10-minute mark of the first half. With 12:12 remaining in the first half, Mount Olive was 10-for-16 from the field, shooting at a 62.5 percent clip while holding the Tornado (13-7, 7-5 Conference Carolinas) to 26.7 percent on 4-of-15 shooting.
Mount Olive was led by Jasmine McDonald, who had a well-rounded game with 15 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists. In December, McDonald became one of only nine NCAA Division II players this season to record a triple-double. Joneiqua Gary led all scorers with 20 points, while Ty Wallace poured in 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds from her forward position.
Kelly Jackson became the only Tornado to score in double figures with her 14-point performance. She was also one rebound from tying her career mark, collecting eight boards to match Bonnie Durrett for the team lead. Reazyn DeMoss set a career high with six rebounds. The team also matched its second-highest blocked shots output this season with six stuffs, including two by Sydney Harris.
King's typically stingy defense, ranked seventh in the country in opponents' field goal percentage, was torched for a season-high 33 made field goals by the Trojans, who shot 44.0 percent from the field. Mount Olive had assists on 14 of their field goals, the second-highest mark against the Tornado defense this season, and led from the outset.
The game contained another statistical anomaly, as the Tornado tied an NCAA record for least fouls committed in a half of play by playing the entire second half foul-free. Officials called just three fouls against King all night, including going the final 26:50 of game time without whistling a Tornado player.
King also failed to connect on a three-point field goal attempt during the entire game, shooting 0-for-18 from long range on the evening. It was the first time since a 54-45 loss to Limestone on January 26, 2012 that the Tornado went an entire game without making a three-point shot, a span of 55 games.
The Tornado were never able to get back into the game during the second half, as Mount Olive maintained a cushion of no less than 12 points over the final 20 minutes. King outmuscled the Trojans in the paint 40-22 and outscored Mount Olive in bench points 25-14. But the Trojans hot shooting proved too much for the Tornado to overcome.
King will return to action on Monday in a rescheduled matchup with North Greenville after snow derailed the teams' game two weeks ago. Tipoff between the Tornado and Crusaders is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The Tornado will host First Responder Night at both games of the doubleheader with North Greenville. All area first responders and their families will receive free admission.