BELMONT, N.C. – Late in the season in conference games on the road, it may not matter how teams get a victory just that they come out with a win. The King University men's basketball team grinded out a win at Belmont Abbey College. The Tornado defense posted one of the best efforts of the season in the 69-61 victory.
FINAL SCORE: King 69, Belmont Abbey 61
LOCATION: Wheeler Center; Belmont, N.C.
RECORDS: King 17-9, 12-4 Conference Carolinas; Belmont Abbey 10-17, 5-12 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The opening half was a defensive struggle as the Tornado shot 21.6 percent and Belmont Abbey was at 31.3 percent from the floor in the opening stanza.
- Je'Don Young gave the Tornado an early lead, knocking down a pair of triples to give King a 10-6 lead early on.
- King later held a 17-13 advantage before the Crusaders went on a run to close the final 10 minutes of the half.
- Belmont Abbey scored seven straight points to take a 20-17 lead. The Crusaders then followed that with another 7-0 to take a 27-19 advantage.
- However, the Tornado scored the final five points of the half, the last on a steal and layup from Jordan Floyd, cutting the Tornado deficit to 27-24 at the half.
- Dontae Campbell got the Tornado off to a good start in the second half, drilling a triple in the opening minute to even the score.
- King gained separation with three straight three-point baskets, the first from Mike Salomon and two from Young, giving King a 38-28 lead and forcing a Crusader timeout.
- The Tornado earned their largest lead of the game, 16 points, three times, the last coming at 60-44 following another Young triple.
- Belmont Abbey had a run left, cutting their deficit to eight points in the final couple minutes, but the Tornado held off the rally to take the contest 69-61.
- King improved their shooting in the second half, posting a field goal percentage of 46.4 percent while holding Belmont Abbey to a 36.4 percentage.
- Young led the way offensively with 21 points, knocking down five triples.
- Floyd followed with 17 points while Salomon chipped in with 14 points.
- The tandem of Mack Owens and Shon'Dre Dukes dominated the glass, accounting for 13 and 12 rebounds, respectively.
FOR THE FOES
- DeQuan Abrom led Belmont Abbey with 22 points and Jacob Wilson followed with 15 points.
- Deion Lane chipped in with 11 points and added six rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- King held Belmont Abbey to 33.8 percent shooting from the field, the third lowest mark a Tornado opponent has shot this season.
- On the offensive side, King shot 32.3 percent from the floor, their lowest percentage in a win this year.
- With the win, King improves to 12-4 in Conference Carolinas play, moving into a first place tie with the University of Mount Olive and Lees-McRae College with two games remaining.
- King hosts Emmanuel College on Wednesday night. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
- Belmont Abbey travels to Lees-McRae College on Tuesday night.