BRISTOL, Tenn. – In a contest that was reminiscent of the game played in Banner Elk a couple weeks ago, the King University men's basketball team capped the regular season with a come-from-behind victory over rival Lees-McRae College on Friday night. The Bobcats took a 17 point lead in the first half, but the Tornado came back behind seniors Hunter LeVeau and Malcolm St. Louis to take the 88-81 victory.
FINAL SCORE: King 88, Lees-McRae 81
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 17-11, 14-6 Conference Carolinas; Lees-McRae 8-20, 7-13 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King scored the first bucket of the contest, but Lees-McRae followed with a 14-2 run, including 10 straight points to open up a 14-4 lead in the opening seven minutes.
- The Bobcats used an 11-0 run to open up a 25-10 lead and gained their largest advantage of the contest at 30-13 with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
- At that point, the Tornado started to chip away at their deficit as Jordan Floyd converted a three-point play and LeVeau drilled a triple to make the score 32-22 with six minutes remaining in the half.
- King later scored the final six points of the half, all coming from the free throw line as LeVeau, St. Louis and Floyd knocked down shots from the charity stripe.
- However, the Bobcats held a 38-32 lead at the break.
- The Bobcat lead grew to 41-34 in the opening minutes of the second half as King continued to chip away at their deficit.
- A St. Louis dunk cut the Lees-McRae lead to 41-38, but the Bobcats answered to extend their lead.
- Chad Hicks knocked down a three-point basket for Lees-McRae before King went on a run that got the Student Center Complex crowd going.
- Mack Owens made a jump shot and LeVeau evened the tally at 49 with a three-point basket.
- LeVeau again connected from long range to give King their first lead of the game since the opening seconds with 12 minutes remaining.
- Derick Pope made it a 10-0 run that put King ahead 54-49 with a pair of free throws.
- The Tornado lead was cut to 62-60 before King went on another one, this one 13-2, including eight straight to finish the burst.
- Pope converted a three-point play on the run before Noble Fahnbulleh made back-to-back triples and Shon'Dre Dukes gave King their largest lead of the game at 75-62 with five minutes remaining.
- The Bobcats had one last run, however, scoring eight straight points to cut their deficit to 84-81 with 1:06 remaining.
- However, C.J. Good made four free throws in the final minute to give King the 88-81 victory.
- St. Louis posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
- LeVeau led five scores in double figures with 17 points to go along with four rebounds.
- Floyd added 13 points, going 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
- Along with St. Louis, Pope and Owens chipped in with 10 points each. Owens snared six rebounds while Pope grabbed five boards.
FOR THE FOES
- Donte Falls led Lees-McRae with 19 points to go along with nine rebounds.
- Jordan Turner added 15 points and Chris Hicks scored 14 points.
- Rishad Felton chipped in with 12 points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The Tornado are the fourth seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament that starts on Tuesday night.
- King posted five scorers in double figures for the fourth time this season, the last time coming against Lees-McRae on February 15 when they had six scorers reach double figures.
- The double-double for St. Louis was his fourth of the season.
- The fourth seeded Tornado will host fifth seeded Belmont Abbey College in the Conference Carolinas Tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
- Lees-McRae will be the seventh seed in the conference tournament and travel to second seed Limestone College on Tuesday night.