BRISTOL, Tenn. – After winning their season opener last night, the King University women's basketball team edged past Tusculum College to move to 2-0 on the young season. The Tornado led for nearly the entire contest, and closed the game on a 12-4 run to take the contest from the Pioneers 67-58.
Tusculum (0-2) scored the first four points of the contest only to see the Tornado rally for seven consecutive points to take a 7-4 lead. Tia Keitt drilled a triple to give King the lead and Bonnie Durrett followed with a bucket to give King three point lead. The Tornado (2-0) stretched their lead to 15-8 following a Stephanie Brantley three-point basket before Tusculum went on a run.
In all, the Pioneers would score 10 of the next 12 points to take an 18-17 lead with 11 minutes remaining. However, Durrett answered with a pair of free throws to put King back ahead, and Brittany Stringer followed with a three-point basket to give King a little breathing room. Tusculum cut their deficit to two, but King proceeded to go on a 10-2 run to gain a 32-22 lead with five minutes left in the first half. Arnelle Collins scored four of her team-high 14 points on the spurt.
Keitt then gave King a 35-23 with another three-point basket with two minutes left in the first stanza. With one minute left in the first half, Chelsea Bowling gave King their largest lead of the game at 39-26 with a three-point basket. Tusculum scored the final three points of the first half to make the halftime score 39-29 in favor of the Tornado.
The Pioneers came out in the second half and scored the first eight points to cut their deficit to just 39-37 nearly four minutes in. Durrett gave King their first points of the frame with a pair of free throws and Stringer followed with a triple to stretch the lead back to four with 16 minutes remaining. The Tornado advantage grew back to 53-45 before the Pioneers went on another run. Tusculum scored nine of the next 11 points to cut the Tornado lead to 55-54 with 7:51 remaining.
However, Amy Van Deventer stretched the lead to two with a free throw before the teams went two minutes without scoring. Collins broke the drought with back-to-back buckets, the second one turning into a three-point play to stretch the King lead to 61-54 with five minutes remaining. Durrett made it a 9-0 run with a three-point basket to stretch the lead back to double digits, and Keitt gave King a 66-54 leady with layup. In all, King scored 11 straight points to gain control of the game, and closed the contest on a 12-4 run to take the contest 67-58.
Neither team shot well from the floor with King shooting 29.9 percent and the Pioneers posting a 25.8 field goal percentage. Collins led four Tornado scorers with 14 points while Keitt followed with 13 points to go along with a game-high four assists. Stringer added 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting from three-point range, and Durrett registered her second double-double in as many games. Durrett scored 11 points, and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds.
King will be in action again on Wednesday when they open Conference Carolinas play against North Greenville University. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.