Bristol, Tenn.- Students piled into the Student Center to collect their free shirt and cheer on King University (19-8, 14-6 CC) as they prepared to take on Erskine College (18-9, 11-9 CC) in the first round of the Conference Carolina Tournament.
The last meeting was at the Student Center also. King avenged their loss at Erskine earlier in the year with a 67-59 victory over the Flying Fleet. Tonight's game had much bigger implications; it meant a lot in the regional tournament standings for the NCAA Division 2 bracket. This was a must win for either team, if not it could possibly end their season. King was putting their 12-0 home win streak on the line, in the end however things would not fall King's way.
The game opened with threes-a-flying. Within the first five minutes of the game the two teams had combined to make six three point baskets. Erskine started the game with the momentum. After the game was tied 9-9, Erskine went on a 10-0 run. They kept a comfortable lead, as much as 17-points, for almost the entire first half until 2:08 to go. King had cut it to seven when James Scales (Rogersville, Tenn.) dove for a loose ball then let out these sickening screams of pain as he held his leg. After a long wait, EMS took Scales out on a stretcher and his injury ignited the crowd and the team. King went on a run to cut it to a one point deficit going into halftime.
King came out and played well going up as much as seven points. With 12:02 remaining Erskine took a two-point lead and never looked back. Erskine managed to get up by as much as 13 points. King could not recover from being down this much and ended up losing by 10. Erskine was led by Corey Sorrell (Walton, KY.) with 25 points. Followed by DeShaun Hall (Imman, SC.) with 24 points, Jake Haslam (Lithia, FL) with 18 points, and Roderick Perkins (Smyrna, GA.) with 17 points. King was lead by Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Fla.) with 20 points. Other notable player contributions for King were Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.) with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Logan Lyle (Unicoi, Tenn.) with 19 points, and Aaron Wheeler (Morristown, Tenn.) with 10 points.
This ended the 12-0 home win streak for King. The bottom line = Erskine shot 60% from the field compared to only 41% for the Tornado. The King University Tornado are currently 19-8.