BRISTOL, Tenn. – No more than four points separated King University and Limestone College for most of the second half before the Saints finished the contest on a 22-2 run. The Lady Tornado were held to just two points over the final eight minutes of the game in a 72-52 loss, Thursday night in the Student Center.
King (9-6, 5-6) overcame an early 10-point lead held by the Saints, 21-11, when Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky.) and Brooke Johnson (Mountain City, Tenn.) hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the Saints' lead to two points, Brittany Kinser joined the three-ball bash with a connection from deep, making for 27-26 game in Limestone's favor. King trailed by only three going into the half. Twenty of their 33 first-half points came off the bench with seven of those coming from Durrett, who had been battling an illness entering the game.
The Lady Tornado retook the lead less than two minutes into the second half when Johnson put one off the glass and in but the lead was short-lived when Morgan Brown hit a deep shot to put Limestone back on top, 39-37. Limestone's strategy went towards the deep ball as their next six shots were from behind the arc, connecting on three of those. Durrett continued to lead by example, hitting a jumper with 12:34 to go and giving the lead back to the Navy and Scarlett, 46-45, but once again the Saints regained the lead and never gave it back when Stephanie Hayes laid a shot up and in on the next possession.
Limestone finished the game on a 22-2 run, holding King scoreless in its final seven minutes on the court. After Alley Sprouse's layup off an offensive rebound, the Lady Tornado went 0-for-10 from the field. They finished shooting 33.3 percent from the field on the night.
King was led by Bonnie Durrett and Allison Bosse (Knoxville, Tenn.), each finishing with nine points and four rebounds. Alley Sprouse added to her conference-best block total with three more swats, now giving her 36 on the season. She came into the game ranked 10th in NCAA Division in blocks per game (2.50).
The loss drops King to 9-6 on the season with a 5-6 Conference Carolinas mark. They will play their next two games on the road at Coker (Jan. 26) and North Greenville (Jan. 30). They will return to the Student Center on Feb. 2 against Barton and follow by hosting Erskine for the Solid Blue celebration.
Additional note: The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at King University scored a major win for a local youth who attended Thursday night's game. As part of SAAC's Make-A-Wish Foundation project, young 'Kellan' was "adopted" and a special effort was made to make her wish of going to one of the family-friendly Disney theme parks a reality. After a successful fundraising mission was initiated that included the selling of 'Support Stars' and Make-A-Wish t-shirts, SAAC announced that the recorded count at game's end was $2,231, all of which will be donated to Kellan and her family to make that wish come true.