Trojans Edge Lady Tornado Despite Second Half Comeback, 60-56

Trojans Edge Lady Tornado Despite Second Half Comeback, 60-56
Brooke Johnson led the Lady Tornado with 12 points despite a 60-56 loss to the Mount Olive Trojans on Tuesday night. King is now 0-2 in Conference Carolinas play.

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The King Lady Tornado was down by as many as 12 points and was within one possession of tying Mount Olive College in Tuesday night's contest. The Trojans held off the Lady Tornado on their last two offensive possessions in addition to holding the advantage in overall shooting percentage in a narrow 60-56 win. The loss drops King to 2-2 overall on the season as they continue to seek their first conference win. Brooke Johnson led King with 12 points and seven assists.

With 5:26 remaining in the game, King went on a 10-2 run to close the gap to one basket. The run was spurred by sophomore Chelsea Bowling (Elizabethon, Tenn./ETSU) when she hit her third three pointer of the day. The combination of Alley Sprouse and Brooke Johnson hit three of four free throws heading into the final media timeout, closing the gap to six. Kelly Jackson scored the next four Lady Tornado points from short range following two defensive stops, the final bucket with 1:12 remaining to trim the lead to two points.

After Mount Olive's Tamara Nesmith failed to hit on the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, Bowling came down the floor looking to take the lead. Her shot, however, missed the mark. Mount Olive came back down into the King end of the floor where Jasmine McDonald missed a layup attempt, giving the Lady Tornado one more opportunity to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining.

On the following offensive drive for King, Bonnie Durrett committed an offensive foul, the team's ninth of the half, sending Nesmith to the free throw line for two shots. Nesmith hit both, making it a two-possession contest. The Trojans held on to their lead, defeating King 60-56.

Mount Olive began the game on a 12-2 run and continued to build a 13-point lead, their largest of the game, with 8:50 remaining in the first half. The Trojans took an eight point lead into the locker room and maintained that lead until King's final push late in the game.

Senior Brooke Johnson led the Lady Tornado with 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting. She dished out a team-high seven assists while adding four rebounds to her line. Joining her in the double-digit scorers club was Chelsea Bowling, who scored 10 points, nine coming from three-point makes.

Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va./Elon), Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.), and Allison Bosse (Knoxville, Farragut H.S.) all scored nine points each on a combined 10-for-18 shooting attack.

Despite the trio having an incredible shooting effort, the team shot 34.5 percent from the field and hit only 21.1 percent of its three point shots. Conversely, Mount Olive shot 43.1 percent to aid their win, despite narrowly edging King in long-range shooting and a sub-50 percent effort from the free throw line.

Kirsten Mitchell shot 50 percent from the field (8-16) to lead the Trojans with 17 points on the night. Joneiqua Gary dropped 14 points while shooting at the same clip as her teammate (6-12, .500). Tamara Nesmith was one point away from achieving a double-double, tallying 11 rebounds against King.

King (2-2, 0-2 Conference Carolinas) will seek its first conference victory when it hosts Queens (N.C.) on Saturday, Dec. 1 at home for the first of two straight games in the Student Center Complex gym. Tipoff against the Royals will be at 5:30 p.m. and will be the first part of a scheduled basketball doubleheader.