BRISTOL, Tenn. – With the Christmas break looming, the King University women's basketball team got off to a slow start on Saturday night when they hosted UVa-Wise. The Tornado dug a 13-point hole early in the first half, but used a 21-3 run to gain the lead en route to the 54-38 victory going into the break.
UVa-Wise (4-6) scored the first six points of the contest until Tia Keitt got King on the board with a triple nearly seven minutes in. However, the Cavaliers answered with a 10-0 run, earning their largest lead of the contest before the Tornado started to dig in on the defensive end.
King only allowed two Cavalier points over the final 10:05 of the first half, and held UVa-Wise scoreless for the final 7:48 of the first frame. At the same time, the Tornado offense started to pick up as well. Arnelle Collins pulled King within 16-7 with a layup, and after a UVa-Wise bucket, Chelsea Bowling sparked a 17-0 run with a three-point basket.
The Tornado (6-4) grabbed their first lead of the game with 2:04 remaining in the first half when Bowling made a layup off a Keitt steal. Durrett followed with a layup before Collins converted a layup and nailed a three-point basket, giving King a 24-18 lead at the break.
UVa-Wise opened the second half with a layup to score their first field goal in more than eight minutes of playing time. The Cavaliers cut their deficit to 28-22 two minutes into the second half, but Durrett answered with one of her four triples in the contest. Durrett's trifecta started a 12-3 Tornado run that gave King a 40-25 advantage with 12 minutes left.
The Tornado earned their largest lead of the game, 18 points twice, the final time at 52-34 as King went on to take the contest 54-38. King shot 37.3 percent from the floor while holding UVa-Wise to 28.1 percent shooting from the floor.
Durrett led the King offense with a season-high 20 points, going 4-for-8 from three-point range while grabbing six rebounds. Keitt was the only other Tornado in double figures with 11 points to go along with six rebounds. Bowling and Collins chipped in with seven points apiece, and Whitney Mitchell snared a career-high eight rebounds and four assists.
King will be in action again on January 3 when they host the University of Mount Olive. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.