King duo scores 11 apiece to send Lady Tornado to Mid-East title tilt

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. - The top-seeded King College women's basketball team advanced to NCCAA Division I Mid-East Region Championship thanks to a 64-36 victory at Covenant (Ga.) College Friday.

King, now at 12-16, will play Oakland City (Ind.) University, the No. 3 seed, Saturday at 2 p.m. for the region championship. The Lady Tornado will look for back-to-back region crowns. The winner of Saturday's game punches a ticket to the NCCAA National Tournament March 17-19 at Grace (Ind.) College. Oakland City knocked off No. 2 seed Tennessee Temple University 79-68 earlier Friday. Saturday's tilt will be the first time in program history the Lady Tornado and Oakland City will face off.

Ashley Deans (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) both finished with 11 points.

Kalen Collins (Wise, Va.) pulled in 13 rebounds, the most by any Lady Tornado this season.

Jessica Tharpe (Sevierville, Tenn.) used three 3-pointers for nine points in the contest.

King opened the scoring with a three pointer by Johnson 33 seconds in as part of an 8-0 start. A layup from Brittany Kinser (Greeneville, Tenn.) gave the Lady Tornado a 16-5 lead with 11:40 left in the half. Jana Gross (Dayton, Ohio) and her three pointer 2:44 before halftime made the margin 22, 33-11, before King took a 36-16 lead to the locker room at the break.

It was the fifth time King held an opponent under 20 points in the first half and the fourth largest halftime lead for the Lady Tornado in 2010-11.

Johnson scored the first five points of the second half and Covenant did not score for the opening 4:32.

Deans became the first player to reach double-digits with her lay up 10:30 to go which gave the senior her 10th and 11th points.

The Lady Tornado won at Covenant for the first time since the 2007-08 season when King posted an 80-56 victory. The last time King played at Covenant, Covenant came out with a win, 76-56 on Nov. 22, 2008.

Covenant's season comes to an end at 5-21 despite a game-high 14 points from Margaret Cross.