BANNER ELK, N.C. – In what has resulted in entertaining games the last few years, the King University men's basketball team came back to defeat rival Lees-McRae College on Wednesday night. The Tornado trailed the majority of the contest, but came back and Noble Fahnbulleh put the Tornado head with an offensive rebound and put-back with 9.5 seconds remaining, giving King the 98-97 victory.
FINAL SCORE: King 98, Lees-McRae 97
LOCATION: Williams Gymnasium; Banner Elk, N.C.
RECORDS: King 15-11, 12-6 Conference Carolinas; Lees-McRae 8-17, 7-10 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Shooting was the story of the first half as the Bobcats made 10 of their first 14 attempts from three-point range.
- Lees-McRae used a 9-0 run to turn an early 8-4 deficit into a 13-8 lead five minutes into the contest.
- King tried to keep pace with the Bobcats, but Lees-McRae gradually extended their lead in the middle of the first half.
- Darius Malbon connected on three-point baskets on three straight possessions for the Bobcats, extending their lead to 41-30, their largest lead of the half.
- However, Je'Don Young answered for the Tornado with a triple as King started to work their way back.
- King cut their deficit to six points twice, but Lees-McRae had an answer each time.
- The Tornado then scored six straight points to close the first half, capped by a pair of Young buckets, cutting the King deficit to 54-52 at the break.
- The second half got off to slow start, but a Malcolm St. Louis dunk gave King a 67-66 lead six minutes into the half, capping a 6-0 Tornado run.
- Trailing 71-69, C.J. Good got the King offense going with a triple, starting a 9-0 burst.
- Hunter LeVeau capped the run, giving King a 78-71 lead with a trifecta with nine minutes remaining.
- The Bobcats didn't go away, however, coming back to even the score for the seventh time at 81 following a 10-3 spurt.
- Over the final five minutes, the lead changed hands seven times, and the score was tied on five occasions with neither team leading by more than two points.
- Good evened the score at 92 with another three-point basket before the Bobcats regained the lead with a free throw.
- The final seven points for Lees-McRae came at the free throw line, as Donte Falls gave the Bobcats a 97-96 lead with two free throws with 19 seconds remaining.
- On the ensuing possession, Good's runner was off the mark, but Fahnbulleh was there for the offensive rebounds and put-back, putting King ahead with 9.5 seconds remaining.
- Lees-McRae's final attempt was off the mark as King took the contest 98-97.
- St. Louis led six King scorers in double figures with 20 points, going 8-for-11 from the field. He also grabbed six rebounds.
- Young followed with 13 points and Pope accounted for 12 points and six rebounds.
- LeVeau and Good added 11 points apiece with LeVeau snared a team-high eight rebounds.
- Jordan Floyd chipped in with 10 points and five assists.
FOR THE FOES
- Malbon and Jordan Turner led Lees-McRae with 23 points apiece.
- Falls added 12 points and Lynch chipped in with 11 points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- For the second time this season, King placed six scorers in double figures. The last time was on January 7 in a 110-91 win over Pfeiffer University.
- It is also the third time King has had at least five scorers in double figures, the last came on February 4 in a 96-88 win over Limestone College.
- King travels to take on the University of Mount Olive on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
- Lees-McRae travels to North Greenville University on Saturday.