Defense Handcuffs Knights in 71-49 Win
BRISTOL, Tenn. – After taking a 33-29 lead into the half, King clamped down on its defensive effort to allow only 20 points in the second half on their way to a 71-49 win over St. Andrew's Presbyterian College, Saturday afternoon.
King (4-16, 4-8) built a seven-point lead just five minutes into the game and held that advantage for a majority of the game. They built as much as a nine-point lead midway through the first half and built it back to that margin just under the two-minute mark when Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) hit a jumper to give her team a 33-24 lead. St. Andrew's scored the half's last five points to draw within four at the end of the half.
The Lady Tornado worked the inside and built their lead to ten points near the 12-minute mark of the second session via a pair of jumpers in the paint by Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.) and one by Johnson. Fighting to stay within 10 points, St. Andrew's stalled as they went on to miss their next eight shots and turn the ball over three times before recording their next point through a pair of free throws from Brittany Roberts. King kept the Knights without a field goal for over six minutes before Rebecca Bryant broke the streak with a fast-break layup with 44 seconds left in the game when the lead had surpassed 20 points. The Lady Tornado forced 12 consecutive misses during a 16-4 run they used to end the game on in their victory.
Three Lady Tornado starters reached double figures, led by Jana Gross (Dayton, Ohio) and Brooke Johnson with 16 points. Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va.) notched her first double-double of her career with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Jackson went 7-of-12 from the field to end the day shooting .583 on the night. As a team, the Lady Tornado shot 40.6 percent from the field.
Brittany Roberts led the Knights with 15 points and added seven rebounds. Benee Norton led St. Andrew's in rebounds with nine.
King will embark in a rematch of their earlier meeting with Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. on Feb. 6. The Lady Tornado earned their first win of the season and first league win of the program's tenure in Conference Carolinas. They will return to the Student Center Complex on Feb. 8 against Belmont Abbey to kick off the "Sea of Red" night. Fans are called upon to wear their red King gear in the masses and will receive complimentary red "Tornado Warning" rally towels.