BELMONT, N.C. – The King University women's basketball entered the Conference Carolinas Women's Basketball Championship with a road contest for the first time in six years as the sixth seed. The Tornado used a big second quarter to take a halftime lead at third-seed Belmont Abbey College. However, the Crusaders came back with a big fourth quarter to take the contest 68-49.
FINAL SCORE: No. 3 Belmont Abbey 68, No. 6 King 49
LOCATION: Wheeler Center; Belmont, N.C.
RECORDS: King 14-14; Belmont Abbey 20-9
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Kristen Cupples scored the first basket of the game, but the Crusaders responded with nine straight points to gain control of the contest.
- The Tornado deficit grew to 17-8 before a triple from Cupples in the final minute of the stanza.
- Belmont Abbey scored the final basket of the period to take a 19-11 lead going to the second quarter.
- It didn't take King long to turn that score around in the second period, scoring the first nine points and 12 of the first 13 points in the period.
- Kiki Samsel gave King a 20-19 lead with a three-point basket before Trinity Lee followed with a triple.
- The Tornado defense held Belmont Abbey without a field goal for the first 5:20 of the period when Brittany Autry made a layup.
- That was the only field goal King allowed in the period as the Crusaders scored five points from the free throw line.
- A Cupples trifecta gave King a 28-22 lead before the Crusaders scored the final four points, but King led 28-26 at the half.
- The Tornado seemed to have an answer for the Crusaders every time Belmont Abbey tried to make a run in the third period.
- In the period there were a pair of ties and six lead changes.
- Belmont Abbey took a 37-33 lead, but Cupples drilled a triple and Lee followed with a trifecta, putting King back on top at 39-37.
- However, the teams then traded blows before the Crusaders again led by four.
- Cupples again came to the rescue with a pair of free throws and a three-point basket that gave King a 46-45 lead in the final minute.
- Belmont Abbey scored the final basket to take a 47-46 lead into the final period.
- The Belmont Abbey defense dug in during the fourth quarter, allowing King to one field goal and three points in the final stanza.
- The Tornado field goal game at the 7:27 mark, a layup from Golden that pulled King back within 51-48.
- The Crusaders then closed the game on a 17-1 run to take the contest 68-49.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Cupples led King with 18 points, knocking down four triples.
- Golden followed with 14 points and five assists.
- Madison Davis and Desiree Bates both led King with six rebounds in the contest.
FOR THE FOES
- The Crusaders hit the glass hard, outrebounding King 49-25 with Belmont Abbey corralling 20 offensive rebounds and 19 second chance points.
- Keyanna Spivey led three Belmont Abbey scorers in double figures with 14 points.
- Allie Downing followed with 12 points and eight rebounds while Maria Kuhlman added 10 points.
- Manuela Fungate chipped in with seven points and 11 rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Cupples and Davis close their careers for the Tornado after leading King to the Conference Carolinas championship game each of the last three years.
- Cupples ends her career with 996 career points.