WILSON, N.C. – Coming off their first loss in more than a month, the King University men's basketball team responded with a solid road performance at Barton College. Senior Logan Lyle led King to the 100-81 win over the Bulldogs as he matched a season-high with 25 points to get King back in the win column.
The Tornado (16-3, 11-1 CC) started the game off hot from beyond the arc as James Scales opened the scoring with a three-point basket and Mack Owens followed with another. A free throw from Drew Standifer gave King an early 7-0 lead before Barton (12-8, 8-4 CC) got on the board. Lyle struck for the first time with a three-point basket, and Owens followed with another to stretch the Tornado lead to 16-4 four minutes in.
The Bulldogs then rolled off seven straight points to cut their deficit to five before Shamarae Watts hit a jumper and Calving Walker connected on a long range shot, pushing the King lead back to double digits. However, the double digit lead was short lived as the Bulldogs then scored eight straight points to make the score 21-19 with 11 minutes left in the half.
At that point C.J. Good sparked the Tornado offense with back-to-back triples as King went on a 14-2 run, including an 11-0 spurt. Nathanael Hughes capped the run for King with a deep three-point basket as the shot clock expired with eight minutes left to give King a 35-21 lead. Back-to-back trifectas by Hunter LeVeau and Mikquell Jackson gave King their largest lead of the first half at 47-28 with four minutes left in the frame before the Bulldogs started to chip away.
Barton scored six straight points before Lyle got King back on the board with a jumper. The Bulldogs then outscored King 9-4 over the final two minutes, including a three-point basket by Jake Veasley with 27 seconds left that made the halftime score 53-43.
The Tornado quickly extended their lead to 15 following a layup from Scales and triple from Lyle to score the first five points of the second half. King later led 68-49 when the Bulldogs went on another run, scoring eight straight points to get within 68-57 with 12 minutes left.
The lead was still 11 when King tried to gain a little separation with 10 minutes left. The Tornado scored the next seven points, capped by a pair of LeVeau triples to extend their lead back to 16. From there the Tornado never led by less than 14 points, and earned their largest lead of the contest at 96-76 with two minutes left. Joshua Smith capped the 100-81 victory with a bucket in the waning seconds, moving King to 11-1 in Conference Carolinas play.
King shot 41.1 percent from the floor in the win, including 41.2 percent from three-point range. The Tornado went 26-for-33 from the free throw line for a 78.8 percentage. On the other side, the King defense held Barton to a 37.7 field goal percentage and 17.6 three-point field goal percentage. The Bulldogs shot 72.2 percent (26-for-36) from the free throw line.
Lyle matched his season with 25 points, going 10-for-12 from the free throw line while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Standifer followed with 14 points, LeVeau added 13 while Scales and Owens chipped in with 11 and nine points, respectively. Good also matched a season-high, dishing out seven assists.
King returns home to host Pfeiffer University on Wednesday night. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.