AUGUSTA, Ga. - King College battled, but a late drought hindered the Tornado's efforts as No. 5 Augusta State kept a home winning streak alive with a 56-52 win Saturday.
King grabbed a 52-49 lead after a Brian Hewitt (Lexington, Ky.) three with 4:57 to go. However, those would be the final points for the Tornado as Augusta State scored the final seven points of the game.
In the final 4:57 King went 0-for-5 from the field, four of the attempts were behind the three-point line. The team also missed two free throws, both from Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.), with 1:53 left. King also had three turnovers in the late stretch.
Augusta State did not help the cause as the home team's last field goal came with 3:12 showing on the clock, which was a three by Armstrong to tie the game at 52.
In all the close game featured a dozen lead changes and a dozen ties.
Hewitt went onto lead all scorers with 16 points off the bench. It was his fourth straight double-digit effort.
Seymore finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.
King has a 7-11 record after the game while Augusta State went to 14-1 with a 37 game winning streak in home games in the first meeting between the two teams.
The lead changed hands four times in the first 3:26 of the contest as the teams traded baskets. King had a 5-4 lead after a layup from Clarence Smith (Nashville, Tenn.). Augusta State tied things with 13:48 left in the half at 7-7 and built an 11-7 lead with a 7-0 spurt. Tye Beal's free throws capped the scoring run with 12:07 to go in the first. Beal had 13 points to lead Augusta State with seven of his points coming at the free throw line.
Smith went onto score 10 points in the game with a block and five rebounds.
The home team enjoyed a five point lead near the mid-point of the first half before King rallied to take a 17-16 lead with 6:38 left in the half. The Tornado took the lead after Hewitt knocked down a series of three free throws. Beal answered with a three, but the game ended up tied again at 19 apiece. However King scored the final seven points of the half in 70 seconds which included a three at the buzzer by Hewitt to go into halftime tied at 28. Augusta State enjoyed a seven point lead, 28-21, with 2:10 showing on the first half clock.
The 56 points are the second fewest Augusta State had scored in a game this season and the fewest for a Tornado opponent this season. The last time King held an opponent to under 60 points was on March 20, 2010, in the NCCAA Division I National Championship contest against Northwestern (Minn.) College. For King it was also a season low in scoring, the fewest since the Tornado posted 57 points against Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University on Dec. 1, 2010.
Both teams made 19 baskets, King was 19-for-53 (35.8 percent) while Augusta State was 19-for-51 (37.3 percent). The home team had one more three pointer, 6-5, and three more free throws. At the line King went 9-for-15 (60.0 percent) with Augusta State at 12-for-17 (70.6 percent).
The two evenly matched teams both scored 19 points off turnovers and Augusta State had a slim 24-22 lead in points in the paint.
The Tornado gathered 39 rebounds, four more than Augusta State.
King welcomes Union (Ky.) College to Bristol for a 7 p.m. game Monday. The Tornado blew through Union last season 107-60 in Barbourville on Jan. 11. The last time the two got together in Bristol, King was an 80-69 winner on Jan. 17, 2009. The Tornado owns a seven game winning streak in the series which goes back to the 2006-07 season.