January 18, 2014

King cruises to victory at Converse

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Following back-to-back losses, the King University women's basketball team got back on the left side of the ledger on Saturday at Converse College. The Tornado took the lead from the opening tip and never looked back as they cruised to the 77-53 Conference Carolinas victory.

Stephanie Brantley scored King's first bucket nearly one minute in, and Chelsea Bowling followed with a jumper to give King an early 4-0. After Converse (0-15, 0-7 CC) got on the board, Bonnie Durrett sparked a 9-0 spurt with a jump shot. Sydney Harris closed the run with a layup, two free throws and a three-point basket to give King a 13-2 lead more than five minutes in.

The Valkyries cut the deficit to just six with 8:09 remaining in the first half, but Harris quickly extended the lead back to double digits with a triple. The Tornado (10-5, 4-3 CC) then gradually began to extend their lead, and Brantley gave King a 36-19 lead at halftime when she made two free throws with 1:25 remaining.

The King advantage grew to as many as 19 before Converse used an 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 38-27 with 17:42 remaining. The Tornado then held a 13 point lead when Harris started a quick 5-0 run with a pair of free throws, Durrett converted a free throw, and Alley Sprouse ended the spurt with a jump shot to give King a 47-29 lead with 14:43 left.

With 12 minutes remaining, Sara Mitchell connected on back-to-back three-point attempts to stretch King's lead to 56-35. Those triples also sparked a 12-0 run for King as Durrett followed with consecutive buckets and Jalan Harper's layup with 9:25 left gave King a 62-35 lead.

The Tornado lead grew to as many as 28 following two Sprouse free throws with 6:54 remaining as King cruised to the 77-53 victory. King shot 37.7 percent from the floor while holding Converse to 30.8 percent shooting.

All 12 King players that saw action scored, being lead Durrett and Harris who scored 15 points apiece. Durrett and Tia Keitt each grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

The Tornado return home on Tuesday when the host Belmont Abbey College. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center Complex.