GAFFNEY, S.C. – After a high-scoring first half against Conference Carolinas foe Limestone College, the King University women's basketball team fell short in a second-half defensive battle, losing to the homestanding Saints 55-49.
Limestone (10-4, 5-1 Conference Carolinas) led the Tornado 52-42 with 7:30 remaining in the second half before the Tornado (9-5, 3-3) went on a 7-0 run over the next 4:01 to cut the deficit to one possession. Although Limestone would play the remainder of the game without scoring a field goal, King would come no closer as the Saints pulled away down the stretch at the free throw line.
After Limestone took a 39-31 lead into the intermission, the teams combined for 34 points over the final 20 minutes of play. Limestone shot just 16.7 percent from the field in the second half on 5-for-30 shooting. After taking a 45-35 lead with 16:00 to play on a layup by Amber Wright, Limestone was 2-for-25 from the field in the remainder of the game, a paltry eight percent shooting.
While the Tornado defense clamped down in the second half, Limestone did not allow the Tornado offense to get into a rhythm to claw back into the game. King managed to shoot only 24 percent from the field in the second half and 30.8 percent overall. The Tornado were held scoreless over the final 3:29 while the Saints doubled their lead at the free throw line. For the game, Limestone was 9-for-11 from the free throw line, while the Tornado converted on 13 of their 26 attempts.
Limestone had three scorers in double figures, led by 15 points from guard Ayshia McNeil. King was led by eight points from both Bonnie Durrett and Stephanie Brantley. Jalan Harper, a freshman guard, doubled her previous career high by pulling down 12 rebounds. Sydney Harris had a career high by notching three of King's six blocked shots. Limestone outscored the Tornado in second-chance points 18-6 and led in points off turnovers 13-5.
The Tornado next return to action on Saturday against conference foe Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. The next home game will take place on Tuesday, January 21 against Belmont Abbey at 5:30 p.m.