DUE WEST, S.C. – The King University women's basketball team got off to a slow start at Erskine College on Tuesday night, but the Tornado came back to close the first quarter and start the second. King extended their lead in the third quarter and held it there behind their best shooting output of the season to take the contest 88-74.
FINAL SCORE: King 88, Erskine 74
LOCATION: Belk Arena; Due West, S.C.
RECORDS: King 4-2, 2-0 Conference Carolinas; Erskine 1-4, 0-2 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Flying Fleet scored the first seven points of the contest and opened up a 15-4 lead before King started to come back.
- Ashley Albertson started an 8-0 Tornado run with a basket and Whitney Mitchell followed with a jump shot.
- Jalan Harper capped the spurt, pulling King within 15-12 with back-to-back buckets.
- Albertson beat the buzzer to end the first quarter with a triple, cutting the King deficit to 19-17 after one.
- King didn't slow down opening the second quarter as Sheena Johnson drilled a triple eight seconds into the frame, giving the Tornado their first lead of the contest.
- Kori West broke a 22-22 tie with a jumper and later made a free throw before an Emily Kiser trifecta stretched the lead. Mitchell then gave King a 30-22 lead midway through the quarter with a bucket.
- The Flying Fleet then came back with six straight points before King bounced back.
- Mitchell drilled a three-point basket, giving King a 37-32 lead with one minute remaining in the half.
- Erskine's Kristin Giles made a three-point basket to bet the first half buzzer and cut the Tornado lead to 37-35 at halftime.
- King kept their foot on the gas to open the second half, scoring 11 of the first 13 points, including nine straight to take a 48-37 advantage.
- The spurt was capped by a Kiser triple and Mitchell bucket in the paint four minutes in.
- The Tornado lead grew to 53-41 following an old fashioned three-point play before the Flying Fleet tried to chip away at their deficit.
- Erskine cut the Tornado advantage to 53-49 with an 8-0 run, but Demisha Porter got King back on the board with a pair of free throws and Johnson drilled a three-point basket.
- Erskine scored the final bucket of the quarter, King held a 63-54 lead going to the fourth stanza.
- A trifecta from Johnson with three minutes remaining gave King their largest lead of the game at 80-66 as the Tornado moved to 2-0 in Conference Carolinas play with the 88-74 victory.
- Mitchell led King with a season-best 26 points, going 8-for-12 from the floor and 9-for-13 from the free throw line. She also handed out a team-high six assists.
- Johnson followed with 16 points, going 5-for-7 from three-point range.
- Kiser connected on three triples and scored 13 points while Harper was the final Tornado in double figures with 10 points.
- Albertson nearly posted a double-double, scoring nine points and leading King with 11 rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Kristin Giles led Erskine with 30 points, going 11-for-19 from the floor.
- Ashley Espinosa followed with 14 points and Christian Brown added 10.
- Naomi Stuger grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with nine points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The Tornado turned in their best shooting performance of the season, shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from three-point range. King shot better than 50.0 percent twice last season, both coming against North Greenville University.
- Mitchell's 26 points set a season best and was three away from her career-best of 29 points set last February against Lees-McRae College.
- King hosts Barton College on Saturday night in the Student Center Complex. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
- Erskine takes on Lander University on Thursday.