DUE WEST, S.C. – The No. 22 King Tornado fell victim to the Erskine Flying Fleet on Wednesday night, unable to recover from a 15-point, halftime deficit. King fell 77-61 to the Fleet on the road after 23 turnovers combined with an excellent shooting display by Erskine led to the team's first conference loss. Logan Lyle led the team with 16 points while Jason Seymore posted his third consecutive double-double.
Erskine broke out to a nine-point lead 13 minutes into the contest after Mike Gabbard converted on a three-point play following a drive the hole, putting the Fleet up 19-10. King cut the lead to three points after Logan Lyle (Unicoi, Tenn.) nailed back-to-back three pointers with 4:30 to go in the half. Erskine bounced back by scoring the next nine points, converting on a King turnover and two missed three pointers. Jake Haslam ended the first half with a three-point make with 29 seconds to go to extend Erskine's lead to 15 points, 35-20.
The Fleet's lead was spurred by a 50 percent shooting effort, led by Corey Sorrell going 5-for-7 from the field. Ten of his 15 points came in the first half. King, by comparison, shot only 30.4 percent and hit only three of their 15 three-point attempts in the half.
Though King's shooting marks greatly improved throughout the second half, Erskine matched and surpassed their effort by shooting 77.8 from three-point range and 58 percent from the field.
Eight minutes into the second half and 12 points separating the two teams, Erskine went on a 19-2 run when King failed to hit on three straight attempts from behind the arc and the Fleet responded by connecting on their next five shots, four from three-point range. Erskine's lead increased to 27 points and reached a game-high 29 two possessions later.
In the final 2:13 of the game, King forced three turnovers and hit a pair of three-point shots to finish the game down by 16, 77-61.
King (10-2, 5-1) was led by sophomore Logan Lyle's 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Twelve of his 16 points came off three pointers. Lyle came into the game ranked fourth in NCAA Division II in three-point field goals per game (3.73) and hit four against the Fleet.
Senior Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) recorded his sixth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and recording 10 rebounds.
Roderick Perkins scored a game-high 21 points and added a team-best eight rebounds. Four additional members of the Fleet scored 10 or more points. Jake Haslam led Erskine from three-point range, hitting 5-of-11 on the night.
The loss comes just a day after King was placed in the top-25 of the latest NABC/Division II Coaches' Poll, the highest ranking in program history since joining the ranks of the NCAA.
King will play host to the Pfeiffer Falcons (2-9, 1-4) on Saturday, Jan. 10. for Community Appreciation Night. The Lady Tornado will begin the doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. with the men following at 7:30 p.m.
Members of the Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia and TriCities community can attend both games, free of charge, as part of Community Appreciation Night. Join the Tornado for a day full of fun and lots of points scored.