HARROGATE, Tenn. - King College was handed a 79-63 loss at Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University Tuesday.
The Tornado went to 2-4 on the season despite a season-high 20 point performance from Brian Hewitt (Lexington, Ky.). He scored 16 of his points in the first half which was a season high itself.
King opened the game with the first seven points, but Lincoln Memorial tied things at 9-9 5:24 into the contest. Lincoln Memorial would build a 20-14 lead, the Railsplitter's largest lead of the half at the midpoint. King would trail until Mark Dockery (Nickelsville, Va.) tied the game at 31 apiece with 51 seconds to go before halftime.
Hewitt got a jumper off in the paint before the half ended to put King up 33-31 at the break. King had led twice in earlier games this season, winning both.
King scored the first four points of the second half forcing a Lincoln Memorial timeout just 37 seconds into the period.
The lead changed hands back to Lincoln Memorial with 17:29 left when the score became 38-37. The lead change was a part of a 12-0 run over five minutes as Lincoln Memorial built a 43-37 advantage with 15 minutes left.
David Johnson (Tampa, Fla.) ended the Tornado's drought with a three pointer and brought King within three with 14:11 to go. King fought back to tie things at 45 with 12:53 showing on the clock when Brandon Goss (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a jumper.
Smith tied things again at 47 with two free throws, but it took another Johnson three pointer to tie the contest at 50. After the basket Tornado head coach George Pitts called a 30-second timeout with 11:36 left in the meeting.
The next five points were scored by the Railsplitters, but Dockery ended the streak with two free throws.
Lincoln Memorial would build an eight-point lead, but King got within three again after a Smith free throw with 5:31 left. He missed on the next attempts, but added two more 27 seconds later which once again brought King to three.
With Lincoln Memorial leading 72-63 with 89 seconds to go, and two Railsplitter free throws made the Tornado deficit 11 and the margin went to 16 in the final seconds.
The Tornado finished the game 21-for-52 (40.4 percent) while Lincoln Memorial was 30-for-63 (47.6 percent). King was outrebounded 39-32 and gave the ball away 17 times on turnovers. Lincoln Memorial had just eight turnovers.
Kierre Jordan paced the Railsplitters with 18 points. Darryl Garrett added 15 with 14 from Brandon Armstrong. Vincent Bailey finished the game with a dozen points and eight rebounds.
Two of King's six defeats last season were against Lincoln Memorial.
The 63 points are the fewest for King this season as the team came into the game averaging 80.4 points. King went 3-4 last season when scoring fewer than 65 points.
King travels to nearby Milligan (Tenn.) College for a 7 p.m. contest Monday. The Tornado will take a nine-game winning streak over the Buffaloes into the contest after a 92-49 win at Milligan last season on Feb. 15.