BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University men's basketball fell behind Belmont Abbey College early, but closed the first half on a run behind Kalen Clifton to take a lead into the break. The Tornado lead grew to 20 in the second half, but the Crusaders didn't give up. King held off a late run to escape with the 91-88 Conference Carolinas victory.
FINAL SCORE: King 91, Belmont Abbey 88
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 7-4, 3-0 Conference Carolinas; Belmont Abbey 6-6, 2-2 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont Abbey grabbed the lead early and had the advantage in the early going, stretching their lead to 14-9 before Clifton sparked the King offense.
- Clifton made a free throw and later a layup with an assist to Timothy Taylor.
- The duo then brought the Student Center crowd to their feet as Taylor threw a lob to Clifton who threw down the dunk, evening the tally at 14.
- Je'Don Young capped the 12-0 run that put the Tornado ahead 21-14 midway through the opening stanza.
- Mack Owens stretched the Tornado lead to 34-25 late in the first half, but the Crusaders made the final basket, cutting the Tornado lead to 34-27 at the break.
- Owens started the second half hot with a layup and triple. Young that came up with a steal and layup, giving King a 41-27 lead in the opening minute of the second half.
- The Tornado later tried to put the contest out of reach with a 14-0 spurt.
- Jordan Floyd started the run with back-to-back trifectas, followed by a Dontae Campbell triple and another Clifton alley oop dunk from Taylor.
- Jonathan King capped the run with a free throw, giving King a 73-53 lead with nine minutes remaining.
- However, the Crusaders answered with a 12-0 run, cutting their deficit to eight points.
- King tried to answer, but Belmont Abbey didn't give up. The Crusaders cut their deficit to 87-85 with 31 seconds remaining, but the Tornado stretched it back to 90-85 at the free throw line.
- Belmont Abbey trailed 91-88 in the final seconds, and they Crusaders got off three shots to tie the contest, but all were off the mark as King escaped with the 91-88 victory.
- Floyd led the Tornado with 25 points, 20 coming in the second half.
- Owens posted another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
- Clifton followed with 16 points and Young chipped in with 15 points.
- Taylor handed out a game-high 12 assists on the night.
FOR THE FOES
- DeQuan Abrom led Belmont Abbey with 31 points and five rebounds.
- Jacob Wilson followed with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Deion Lane added 15 points, four rebounds and six assists.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Owens posted his third straight double-double and fifth in the last six games. He now has seven double-doubles on the season.
- For the third straight contest, Taylor set a career high in assists, dishing out 12 helpers. It was also his first contest with at least 10 dimes.
- King hosts Lenior-Rhyne University on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center Complex. The Tornado defeated the Bears earlier this season 72-71 in overtime on November 15.
- Belmont Abbey hosts St. Augustin'es University on December 30.