BANNER ELK, N.C. – Winning rivalry games on the road is never easy, and the King University women's basketball team escaped with a narrow 64-62 victory at Lees-McRae College on Wednesday evening. Whitney Mitchell connected on a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining to give King the victory.
FINAL SCORE: King 64, Lees-McRae 62
LOCATION: Williams Gymnasium; Banner Elk, N.C.
RECORDS: King 19-6, 16-3 Conference Carolinas; Lees-McRae 4-21, 4-15 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King scored the first five points of the contest, but Lees-McRae answered with eight straight points to grab the lead.
- Danielle Luczak gave King a 9-8 lead with an offensive rebound and layup, but again the Bobcats answered.
- Lees-McRae scored 11 of the next 12 points, including nine straight points to take a 20-10 advantage.
- Sheena Johnson scored the final bucket of the quarter, cutting the King deficit to 20-12.
- The Tornado defense helped get the offense back on track in the second quarter, not allowing a Bobcat field goal for nearly the first eight minutes of the period.
- In that time, King scored 14 of the first 16 points of the quarter, including 12 straight. Whitney Mitchell and Kristen Cupples both drilled three-point baskets on the spurt and Amy Van Deventer gave King the 23-22 lead with a layup.
- Luczak beat the buzzer with a bucket, giving King a 30-27 lead at halftime.
- The Tornado continued the run in the third quarter, scoring the first 11 points of the stanza, opening up a 41-27 lead with three minutes remaining.
- Sydney Harris started the run with a triple and Cupples drilled back-to-back jump shots to cap the burst.
- However, Lees-McRae closed the quarter on a 15-3 run, including eight straight points, cutting their deficit to 44-42 going to the fourth quarter.
- Buckets by Luczak and Jalan Harper extended the Tornado advantage back to 48-42 two minutes into the final period.
- Nevertheless, the Bobcats went on another run, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to gain the lead. Breana Hardnett evened the score with a triple and Olivia Unger followed with a jump shot with five minutes remaining.
- From there, Lees-McRae held the advantage until the final minute.
- King trailed 58-55 when Mitchell took over, making a pair of free throws to pull King within one.
- On the next trip down the floor, Mitchell made a bucket to regain the lead for the Tornado.
- Mitchell again made two free throws, stretching the Tornado lead to 61-58 with 14 seconds remaining.
- Lees-McRae came back to even the score at 62-62 at the free throw line with three seconds remaining when head coach Josh Thompson called for a timeout.
- Out of the break, Mitchell attacked the basket and was fouled with 0.4 seconds remaining.
- She made both free throws, giving King the 64-62 victory.
- Mitchell led King with 15 points, going 10-for-12 from the free throw line. Mitchell added a team-high five assists.
- Luczak followed with 14 points and eight rebounds and Harper chipped in with 11 points.
FOR THE FOES
- Hardnett led Lees-McRae with 21 points while Markia Stacey added 16 points.
- Brea Forbes chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- For the second straight contest, Luczak matched her career-high of 14 points. She came within one of her career-high of nine rebounds that was set on Saturday.
- King travels to take on Converse College on Saturday. Tipoff from Spartanburg, S.C. is slated for 2:00 p.m.
- Lees-McRae travels to North Greenville University on Saturday.