BELMONT, N.C. – In a rematch of a contest that went overtime earlier this season, the King University women's basketball team earned a victory over Conference Carolinas-leading Belmont Abbey College. The Tornado bounced back from a big second-half run from the Crusaders to take the contest 79-70 behind a career-high from Ali Golden.
FINAL SCORE: King 79, Belmont Abbey 70
LOCATION: Wheeler Center; Belmont, N.C.
RECORDS: King 9-7, 5-4 Conference Carolinas; Belmont Abbey 12-6, 9-2 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont Abbey jumped out to a 6-0 lead following back-to-back three-point baskets, but King answered with seven straight points.
- Kristen Cupples connected from long range before Madison Davis and Cupples made consecutive layups to give King the lead.
- Cupples and Golden later made back-to-back triples, turning a four-point Tornado deficit into an 18-16 lead.
- Ryleigh Fritz put the Tornado ahead 23-18 with a triple, but Belmont Abbey answered with a three-point basket, giving King a 23-21 lead after the opening period.
- King gained separation in the middle of the second period with a 7-0 spurt that was ignited by a Kiki Samsel three-point play.
- Golden made a layup to end the spurt and put the Tornado ahead 33-25.
- Golden later gave King their largest lead of the half at 41-32 with a triple, but the Crusaders closed the half on a run.
- Belmont Abbey scored six of the final seven points, cutting the Tornado lead to 42-38 at the half.
- After Belmont Abbey scored the first basket of the third period, the Tornado pulled away from the Crusaders and looked to put the contest out of reach.
- Golden and Cupples started a 16-0 Tornado run with a jump shot and three-point basket, respectively.
- Desiree Bates knocked down a trifecta before back-to-back triples from Cupples and Arielle Holloway gave King their largest lead of the contest at 58-40.
- However, Belmont Abbey scored nine straight points before a Samsel triple extended the King advantage to 61-49.
- The Crusaders scored the final four points of the period, trimming the Tornado lead to 61-53 going to the fourth period.
- Belmont Abbey didn't slow down, scoring the first eight points of the period, taking a 63-61 lead four minutes into the stanza.
- Cupples ended the 23-3 Crusader spurt with a layup, evening the tally before Golden put King back ahead with a pair of free throws.
- Davis connected from long range and Bates made two free throws that gave King a 72-65 lead with two minutes remaining.
- Golden iced the game in the final minute for the Tornado as she made a jump shot and followed that with a steal and a layup that gave King a commanding nine-point advantage.
- She then made two free throws, icing the 79-70 Tornado victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Tornado defense was suffocating, forcing the Crusaders into 23 turnovers, the most King has forced all season.
- King scored 31 points off those turnovers en route to the win.
- The Tornado knocked down 14 triples, their most of the season and fifth time with at least 10.
- Golden led King with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the floor and 4-for-9 from three-point range. She added five assists.
- Cupples followed with 17 points, going 4-for-8 from long range.
- Che' Davis snared a team-high nine rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Maria Kuhlman led Belmont Abbey with 19 points while Brittany Autry followed with 17 points.
- Allie Downing grabbed 10 rebounds and added eight points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The 24 points for Golden marks a career-high. Her previous high came on December 10, 2017, against Converse.
- King returns home on Monday night when they host Erskine College. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
- Belmont Abbey returns to action on Saturday at Limestone College.