BRISTOL, Tenn. - King College's Mark Dockery was part of a record-breaking night as the senior scored 40 points with a school record 21 made free throws in the Tornado's 124-113 home victory over Life (Ga.) University Thursday.
Dockery's 21 free throws surpassed Russell Overla's 16 made free throws from Jan. 19, 1994. With the 21 from Dockery, the Tornado finished with 44 as a team breaking the program record of 31 which occurred twice with the last coming against Milligan (Tenn.) College on Jan. 27, 2007. At one point Dockery connected on 17 straight free throws.
The 40 points from Dockery was the second most in program history just behind Bill Burnett and his 42 points from a game in the 1967-68 season. Dockery surpassed his career-high of 30 scored earlier in the season.
Dockery also pulled in a team-best 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
The Tornado improved to 12-12, the first time King has been .500 since Dec. 11 when the team's record was 6-6. Life, the No. 29 team in the NAIA Division I Coaches' Poll, went to 14-10.
King's 124 points are the most scored since the team posted 127 against Hiwassee (Tenn.) College last season. The previous season high was 110 at Milligan on Nov. 29. However, the 113 points allowed are the most since Emory & Henry (Va.) College scored 108 on Jan. 4, 2010.
The game saw 67 fouls called, 39 for Life and 28 for King. Three Life players fouled out in the later stages of the game. With the fouls, the teams shot 100 free throws, 61 for the Tornado and 39 on Life's side. The 61 attempts for King blew away the program record of 42 from the Emory & Henry contest a season ago.
Clarence Smith (Nashville, Tenn.) scored a season-high 25 points on a 10-for-14 effort from the field. Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) and Brian Hewitt (Lexington, Ky.) both finished with 20 points each.
Life made more field goals than King going 38-for-79 (48.1 percent) while the Tornado went 33-for-64 (51.6 percent). King had two more three pointers, 14-12, than Life. The visitors did go 25-for-39 at the free throw line. Life did own the rebound category 49-43.
King had to rally from an 11-point first half deficit as Life raced out to a 24-13 lead in the first 7:39. The Tornado answered to take a 31-29 lead four minutes later capped by a Hewitt three pointer. Eventually King led 43-33 with 5:23 left in the half. Life battled to get within two, 51-49, with 2:02 on the clock, but King eventually took a 62-55 lead to the locker room at halftime.
In the second half King led by as many as 15 with 6:24 left in the game as the score was 103-88. Life fought back to make the score 113-108 with 102 seconds left, but King made 11 free throws down the stretch.
James Hooper paced Life with 24 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists while P.J. Meyers scored 22. Tony Reese chipped in 19 points.
The win was the sixth straight at home for King, tied for the third longest streak during George Pitts' five year tenure.
Next for King will be a trip to Campbellsville (Ky.) University on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. contest.