BRISTOL, Tenn. – Fresh off a double overtime win on Wednesday, the King University men's basketball team was locked in another tight affair on Saturday night when they hosted Barton College. Neither team led by more than seven points, and the score was tied nine times before Michael Fortune and C.J. Good iced the 70-69 win at the free throw line in the final seconds.
After King (7-8, 4-1 CC) grabbed the early lead, the Bulldogs came back to grab a lead that they held for most of the first half. Barton (6-8, 2-2 CC) earned their largest lead of the game, 12-6 following a three-point play by Chris Flemmings with 13 minutes left in the first half. However, the Tornado started a comeback of their own as Good started the run with a three-point basket, and Brandon Crompton converted a layup to pull King within one. Following a pair of Bulldog free throws, Hunter LeVeau struck from long range to even the score at 14 with just more than 11 minutes to go in the first half.
The score was again tied at 20 before Barton went on a 5-0 run, only to be answered by a King 5-0 run to even the score again. Ryan Canoy gave Barton the lead before Good struck from long range again, giving King a 28-27 lead with less than three minutes left in the first half. The Tornado stretched their lead to six following a LeVeau triple before the Bulldogs outscored King 7-2 over the final minute to make the halftime score 35-34 in favor of King.
The Tornado shot 45.8 percent from the floor, and 50.0 percent from three in the first half while holding Barton to 38.5 and 22.2 percent, respectively.
LeVeau came out attacking the second half as he quickly converted a pair of layups to extend the King lead. Scottie Hendricks nailed his only trifecta of the game two minutes into the half to give King their largest lead at 42-35. However, the Bulldogs scored six straight points to pull back within one before the tied the game at 46 just over five minutes into the half.
Logan Lyle sparked a quick 5-0 Tornado with an old fashioned three-point play, and Calvin Walker gave King a 51-46 lead with a jumper. However, the Bulldogs answered with five straight points to even the score once again.
The score was tied for the ninth and final time with 5:51 remaining; at that point, Brandon Crompton gave King the lead with a free throw. LeVeau stretched the lead to three with a timely tip-in with 4:14 left, and Good nailed another three-point basket to give the Tornado a 65-61 lead with 2:31 to play. After a Good jumper, the Bulldogs cut their deficit to just one with 1:22 remaining.
King then used the whole shot clock, but missed their shot and the Bulldogs got the rebound. Barton missed their first shot, but got the offensive rebound and got fouled. However, they missed both free throws and Shamarae Watts grabbed the rebound and passed to Fortune who got fouled. He made both from the charity stripe, and Good stepped into the passing lane to get a steal before he was fouled. He made the first free throw with 5.1 seconds left to give King a 70-66 lead. Flemmings made a three-point basket as time expired to make the final 70-69 in favor of King.
King shot 48.1 percent from the floor in the game while the Bulldogs shot 43.8 from the field. Good led King with 15 points while James Scales and LeVeau added 14 points apiece. LeVeau grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
Flemmings scored a game-high 25 points for Barton while Khari Faison led the Bulldogs with 17 rebounds, nine offensive to go along with 16 points.
King will be in action again when they travel to Limestone College on Wednesday. Tipoff is from Gaffney, S.C., is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.