WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Playing their second top 10 opponent of the season, the King University men's basketball team knew they were in for a challenge when they traveled to take on seventh-ranked West Liberty University. The Tornado owned the lead at the break and stretched their advantage to 11 early in the second half, but the Hilltoppers used a run to gain the lead and held off the Tornado, taking he contest 91-87.
FINAL SCORE: #7 West Liberty 91, King 87
LOCATION: ASRC; West Liberty, W.Va.
RECORDS: King 6-4; West Liberty 10-0
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The teams went back-and-forth at the beginning of the contest, with the Hilltoppers holding the upper hand.
- West Liberty opened up their largest lead of the first half at 19-14, but King came back and pulled within 22-21 following a Mack Owens triple that capped a 7-3 run.
- The Hilltoppers again led by five points when Timothy Taylor got the Tornado offense going with a jump shot.
- Dontae Campbell followed with a bucket and Jordan Floyd gave King a 30-29 lead with a basket, giving the Tornado a quick 6-0 spurt.
- Following another Floyd basket, Je'Don Young then got going for the Tornado. He made four free throws and knocked down a triple that capped a 9-0 run and gave King a 39-31 advantage.
- Mike Salomon gave King their largest lead of the first half at 42-33 with a triple.
- However, West Liberty closed the first half on an 8-3 run, cutting the King lead to 45-41 at thre break.
- Floyd quickly got King back on the board to open the second half, drilling a triple and later a pair of free throws.
- Young capped the 7-0 spurt that gave King their largest lead of the game at 52-41.
- However, the Hilltoppers began to chip away an 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 54-53 before Kalen Clifton got King back on the board with a basket.
- West Liberty later took the lead and stretched it to 61-56 to complete their 20-4 run.
- King came back to cut their deficit to one point twice, but the Hilltoppers had an answer each time.
- West Liberty gained their largest lead of the contest at 81-75, but King answered with four straight points, cutting their deficit to two.
- However, King couldn't get any closer as the Hilltoppers took the contest 91-87.
- Young led four King scorers in double figures with 21 points.
- Owens posted a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
- Salomon went 5-for-9 from three-point range and scored 19 points while Floyd chipped in with 13 points.
FOR THE FOES
- Dalton Bolon led five West Liberty scorers in double figures with 19 points.
- Dan Monteroso followed with 16 point while Jordan Watson accounted for 15 points and seven rebounds.
- James Griffin scored 13 points and Eric Meininger chipped in with 11 points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Owens posted his sixth double-double of the season, and his second in as many games. He has three double-doubles in the last four contests. He also matched a career-high with 15 rebounds.
- Salomon matched a career-high with 19 points.
- Taylor dished out a career-best nine assists for the second straight contest.
- King held West Liberty their fewest point total of the season, and the second time they have scored under 100 points.
- Coming into the contest, West Liberty led NCAA Division II with an average of 15.9 three-point baskets per game, and ranked eighth with a 44.4 three-point field goal percentage. The Tornado defense held the Hilltoppers to six triples and a 19.4 three-point field goal percentage.
- King returns to the friendly confines of the Student Center Complex to host Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey College on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
- West Liberty hosts the University of the District of Columbia on Tuesday night.