CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - King College led for a majority of Saturday's 70-59 NCCAA Division I Men's Basketball Mid-East Championship victory at Campbellsville (Ky.) University and secure a return trip to the NCCAA National Tournament.
King, now at 17-14, knocked off top-seeded Campbellsville in a rematch of a game played Feb. 16 in Campbellsville. That night the Tornado posted a 72-63 win. King was the No. 2 seed in the region tournament and will await to see how the eight-team national tournament bracket fills out. The national office will finalize the bracket and the announcement will come Monday. Oakland City (Ind.) University will host the nationals March 17-19. King will look to return to the national championship contest after coming up short in the 2010 title tilt to Northwestern (Minn.) College.
Mark Dockery (Nicklesville, Va.) led all scorers with 23 points thanks to a 10-for-12 effort at the free-throw line. His five field goals pushed him over 600 for his career as he ranks second on King's All-Time field goals made list with 602.
Clarence Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) added 16 points thanks to an 8-for-11 night from the floor. With Saturday's game he moved within five points of No. 10 on King's All-Time Scoring List with 1,444 points.
Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) pulled in a team-high eight rebounds while Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Fla.) led the Tornado's bench with seven points.
King only trailed once, by a single point, for 20 seconds in the contest when the scoreboard read 3-2. Dockery put the Tornado in front with a jumper and Brian Hewitt (Lexington, Ky.) used a three pointer to cap the run. Campbellsville answered, but it was short lived as the Tornado blew the score to 24-8 at the midpoint of the first half. The margin was as many as 20 before the halftime score saw King lead 36-22.
In the final half King kept the lead that once again grew to 20, 58-38, with 7:53 to go. The home team did not say die with nine straight points and eventually the Tigers made the score 63-58 with a minute left. Five free throws by the Tornado down the stretch help clinch the region crown.
Campbellsville got 22 points from Shawn Savage which included six 3-pointers. All 12 of Adrian Whelan's points were from behind the arc as Campbellsville hit a dozen 3-pointers. King only had six in the contest.
King finished 24-for-46 (52.2 percent) from the field, but 16-for-21 at the line. Campbellsville was 19-for-55 overall, but 9-for-11 at the line.
The Tornado grabbed four more rebounds, 33-29, than the home squad.
Campbellsville used 11 offensive rebounds for 10 second-chance points, but King had the advantage in the paint 31-18. The Tornado also capitalized on 14 turnovers for 15 points.