MISENHEIMER, N.C. – The King University men's basketball team opened 2014 in style as five scorers reached double figures and the Tornado made 21 three-point baskets at Pfeiffer University. The Tornado posted their best shooting output of the season in their 111-73 Conference Carolinas win over the Falcons.
King and Pfeiffer (4-8, 0-3 CC) started the game by trading baskets, and the Tornado (5-8, 2-1 CC) used an 8-2 run to gain a 10-7 lead two minutes into the contest. Shamarae Watts started the spurt with a three-point basket that evened the score at five before Malcolm St. Louis converted a layup. Hunter LeVeau followed with a triple to cap the spurt.
The Tornado lead grew to seven after James Scales drained a three-point basket and made layup, before King gradually extended their advantage. The lead reached double figures following a LeVeau triple, and he drilled another triple to spark an 8-0 run 9:23 left in the first stanza. Drew Standifer followed with a layup, and C.J. Good connected from long range to give King a 36-18 with under eight minutes to go in the first half.
A Standifer bucket gave King their largest lead of the half at 53-30 with 1:20 remaining, and King held a 53-34 lead at the break. The Tornado shot 67.7 percent from the field, and 62.5 percent from three-point range in the first half, marking their best output in a half this season. It also marked their best shooting percentage in a half since January 3, 2013 when they shot 76.9 percent from the floor, and 71.4 percent from long range against Barton College.
The break for halftime couldn't cool the Tornado offense down as they opened the second stanza on a 10-0 run. St. Louis made a layup, and Michael Fortune followed with a three-point basket before Scottie Hendricks capped the spurt with another triple four minutes into the half.
The King lead grew to as many as 35 twice, following three-point baskets by Fortune with five minutes left and Good with just over a minute remaining. The Tornado ultimately took the game 111-73 following King's 21st triple of the night, this one coming off of LeVeau's hand.
With the 21 three-point baskets, the Tornado have now made at least 20 triples in a game three times this season. The Tornado shot a season-best 63.5 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from long range, besting their marks of 54.2 and 52.9, both of which came against Mars Hill University. King also dished out 32 assists, marking their most dimes of the season, and the first time they reached the 30-assist plateau since the 2010-11 season.
Five King scorers reached double figures for the second time this season. LeVeau led this group with 20 points while Standifer followed with a season-high 17. Good followed with 16 points while St. Louis poured in a career-high 15 points. Hendricks chipped in with 11 points. LeVeau also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds, and Fortune dished out eight assists.
Mike Smith led Pfeiffer with 26 points while A.J. Clark followed with 20.
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 7:30 p.m.