Tornado run away from Flying Fleet in second half
BRISTOL, Tenn. – It's not always how a team starts, but how they finish, and the King University men's basketball team closed their game against Erskine College with a flurry of three-point baskets in the second half. The Tornado heated up from long range in the second frame to top the Flying Fleet 86-49 to remain atop the Conference Carolinas standings.
The Flying Fleet (11-8, 5-5 CC) scored the first basket of the game, a triple to take the early lead. However, King (11-9, 8-2 CC) came storming back with a barrage of three-point baskets. Hunter LeVeau connected on the first one to even the score before Michael Fortune and Logan Lyle drained back-to-back shots from long range. A pair of layups by Fortune and Lyle capped King's 13-0 run that gave the Tornado a 13-3 lead seven minutes into the game.
With the Tornado leading 18-6, the Flying Fleet scored seven straight points to cut their deficit to just five points halfway through the first frame. Nevertheless, Drew Standifer and Shamarae Watts both converted three-point plays to stretch the Tornado lead back to 24-13. King held the lead there, and led 31-19 at halftime.
In the first half, King shot 32.4 percent from the floor in the first half and 17.4 percent from three while holding Erskine to 20.6 percent shooting in the half.
The King offense heated up in a hurry in the second half, after the Flying Fleet scored the first point of the frame. Lyle started the Tornado onslaught of 17 straight points with one of his three triples in the contest. C.J. Good followed Lyle's triple with three straight from downtown before Standifer capped the run and gave King a commanding 48-21 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
King followed their 17-0 run with a 19-4 spurt that gave the Tornado a 70-30 lead with eight minutes left. Scottie Hendricks started the run with a triple while Lyle, LeVeau, Watts and Dorian Albritton all connected from long range on the spurt. King reached their largest lead of 42 points on two occasions, and ultimately took the contest 86-49.
The Tornado turned in their third-best shooting percentage in a half this season, shooting 64.3 percent from the floor. Their 60.0 three-point percentage also is their third-best this season. For the game, King shot 46.2 percent from the floor, and 37.2 percent from long range. The Tornado defense also played well on defense, holding the Flying Fleet to 27.1 percent from the floor and 20.6 percent from three. The Tornado outrebounded Erskine 49-34, and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.
LeVeau and Good lead five scorers in double figures with 14 points apiece. Lyle added 13 points and Hendricks scored 11 while Standifer chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds. Malcolm St. Louis also snared a team-high nine boards.
King will be in action again when they take on the University of Mount Olive, who are currently in second place in the Conference Carolinas standings behind the Tornado. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center Complex.