BRISTOL, Tenn. – Playing rivals is always tough, especially when it's the final game before a break, but the King University women's basketball team came away with a well-earned victory over UVa-Wise on Saturday. The Tornado built a 14 point lead in the first half but had to hold off a late Cavalier run to take the contest 88-79.
FINAL: King 88, UVa-Wise 79
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 5-6; UVa-Wise 6-5
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Kiki Samsel got the scoring started with a triple on the first possession before the teams started to go back-and-forth.
- The Cavaliers took a 15-13 lead with two minutes remaining before King scored the final six points of the period.
- Samsel drilled another trifecta in the final minute, giving King a 19-15 lead going into the second quarter.
- The Tornado run continued as they scored the first 10 points of the second quarter, taking a 29-15 lead following the 16-0 spurt.
- Samsel capped the run for the Tornado with her third three-point basket of the game three minutes into the second stanza.
- However, UVa-Wise started to chip away at their deficit and used an 11-2 run to cut their deficit to 33-31 two minutes before halftime.
- Ali Golden extended the King lead to 38-31 before the Cavaliers scored the final basket of the half, cutting the King lead to 38-33 at the break.
- The teams traded blows early in the third quarter before the Tornado looked to make their move in the middle of the period.
- Julie Ford converted a three-point play, and a pair of technical fouls were called on UVa-Wise.
- Golden made all four free throws, giving King a quick 7-0 run to open up a 55-43 lead.
- UVa-Wise came back to pull within five before a Trinity Lee basket extended the Tornado advantage back to 11 as the Tornado led 67-56 after three quarters.
- A pair of Kori West free throws gave King a 69-58 lead in the opening minutes of the final period.
- However, the Cavaliers came back to pull within 73-67 following a 9-4 run.
- UVa-Wise didn't go away, but King had an answer each time as the lead was cut to 77-73 with five minutes remaining, but Golden answered.
- The King lead was whittled down to three on two occasions, the last at 81-78 before Ryleigh Fritz answered with a basket and later a free throw as the Cavaliers started to extend the game.
- King then iced the 88-79 victory at the free throw line.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Tornado shot 87.5 percent at the free throw line, going 21-for-24 from the charity stripe.
- Golden led the Tornado with 25 points, going 12-for-12 from the free throw line.
- Samsel followed with 15 points while Lee added 14 points and four rebounds.
- West added 13 points and 10 rebounds while Fritz chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Cynita Webb led UVa-Wise with 19 points and 19 rebounds.
- Nia Vanzant followed with 14 points while Caitlyn Ross and Hanna Oliver added 12 points each.
- Mackenzie King rounded out the five scorers in double figures with 11 points and seven rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The 87.5 free throw percentage is the best of the season for the Tornado as they made more than 20 free throws in a game for the second time this year.
- The 12 free throws for Golden is the second-most in a game in program history, two behind the record of 14.
- Golden's 25 points is a career-high, topping her previous best of 24.
- The double-double for West is her fourth of the season.
- Samsel drilled five triples, marking the fourth time this year she has made at least five trifectas in a game.
- King returns to the court on January 2 at Southern Wesleyan University. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
- UVa-Wise is in action again on January 4 against Queens University.