WILSON, N.C. – The fourth seeded King University women's basketball team took on eighth seeded North Greenville University Thursday night in the Conference Carolinas tournament semifinals. The contest came right down to the last seconds, but the Tornado held on to defeat the Crusaders 72-71 and advance to their third straight Conference Carolinas title game.
FINAL SCORE: King 72, North Greenville 71
LOCATION: Wilson Gymnasium; Wilson, N.C.
RECORDS: King 17-12; North Greenville 8-21
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Tornado took a 7-5 with 6:53 remaining in the first quarter following a Kristen Cupples three point basket.
- A Kori West bucket tied the game 12-12 with 1:59 to go in the first quarter. However, North Greenville finished the quarter out on a 7-2 run to take a 19-14 lead after one quarter.
- The Tornado trailed throughout the first part of the second quarter, but Arielle Holloway converted on a jumper to give King their first lead since the first quarter 23-22 with 5:20 left in the half.
- North Greenville would regain the lead however, until Ali Golden found Jada Owens in the corner for a three point basket with three seconds remaining in the half. The bucket gave the Tornado a 34-33 lead heading into halftime.
- In the third quarter, after trailing by two points, Cupples drilled another long triple that allowed King to regain the lead 39-38 with 5:49 remaining.
- At the 4:35 mark, West dumped in another layup to give the Tornado a 44-40 lead. The four point advantage would carry over into the fourth quarter as King found themselves leading 50-46 heading into the final quarter.
- The final ten minutes of the contest were filled with runs and excitement throughout. North Greenville used a 12-0 run to start the fourth and take a 58-52 lead over King with 6:19 remaining.
- However, the Tornado countered the Crusader run with a 9-0 run of their own to regain the lead 63-60 with 3:15 remaining in the game.
- With King only up by one point with 2:19 left on the clock, Golden drove to the hoop and converted on a tough layup and got fouled to give the Tornado a 65-62 advantage.
- Despite owning a 68-64 lead with 1:03 remaining, the Tornado allowed the Crusaders to creep back into the contest and tie the game up 69-69 with 13 seconds remaining.
- Following a timeout, head coach Josh Thompson drew up a great play that resulted in West finding Che' Davis on a back door cut who converted the layup and was fouled. Davis drained the free throw to give the Tornado a 72-69 lead with nine seconds remaining in the game.
- The Crusaders got off two three point attempts in the remaining nine seconds put could not capitalize on either and settled for a two point basket with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. King inbounded the ball and the clock ran out.
- The Tornado took down the Crusaders 72-71 in an entertaining matchup off two teams that were playing well at the right time of the year.
- West led King with an 18 point, 16 rebound double-double performance.
- Cupples posted 12 points for the Tornado while Davis finished with 11 points.
- Holloway had a solid night off the bench for King with eight points and four rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Karen Donehew posted a game high 24 points for the Crusaders.
- Cameron Carter recorded 16 points and five rebounds for North Greenville.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- King advances to their third straight Conference Carolinas title game with the win Thursday night. In their first appearance in 2015-16 they fell to Limestone College. A season ago, they defeated Limestone to take home the programs first Conference Carolinas tournament title.
- West produced another double-double tonight to give her 13 double-doubles on the season.
- King will play Barton College in the Conference Carolinas title game tomorrow at 7:00 pm.